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I'm living in Uganda at the moment and have a couple of things to add:

1. VPNs still work fine (I'm using one right now, though its one I installed on a digitalocean instance - it's possible those receiving lots of traffic have now been blocked).

2. This tax is unaffordable for many Ugandans (it would be about 5% of the average wage here). Whatsapp is very popular here and this has impacted everybody I know. Most people I've talked to are using a free VPN (they aren't aware of the risks here).

I haven't done much analysis of the blocking yet but I will be doing a more in-depth post about this whole debacle in a few days.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but Uganda has a somewhat reasonable diversity of domestic ISP AS that are connected to other east African AS for international connectivity outbound via Kenya and Tanzania. It's not like a single government controlled bottleneck situation (As in Iran, where all ISPs have to be downstream of the government AS, which operates all of the international L2 transport and L3 transit/peering connections).

I'm not sure about the peering connections but Uganda does have a good range of ISPs (outside of Kampala connectivity is mobile network only).

The mobile providers are:

- Africell (was orange)


- Airtel

- Smile

- Uganda Telecom

Have you tried Lantern? It’s free up to 500MBs per month and works well in many censoring countries around the world. It has lots of features that make it fast, such as automatically optimizing server selection and using BBR, and it does many things to stay unblocked, including the use of pluggable transports.

Full disclosure: I’m part of the team that builds it.

This is good to know about (and a great idea) - i'll take a look later. The other issue with using a VPN is people can no longer use the 'social pack' which is a cheap social media only data package available on all the networks.

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