Kaieteur News:-Work will begin in the first quarter of 2017 to install Public Internet Access Points (PIAPs) at public buildings including government ministries. More than 600 buildings have been identified.
An estimated $114 million is allocated for this project in the 2017 National Budget.
Presidential Advisor on eGovernment, Floyd Levi, said that the initiative will increase the opportunities and channels through which thousands of individuals will access online resources.
He said it is part of the government’s aim to reduce the digital divide and increase digital interaction.
“When you get there you will have access to the internet…This project will be started in the first quarter of 2017 and continue to expand for the remaining of the year,” Levi explained.
Additionally, the eGovernment Agency will continue to roll out the WiFi projects in schools in the first quarter of 2017.
Levi said that this project will make learning for students a lot more fun and interactive. He explained that there will be limits as to how much time students will be allowed to use a computer system to access the WiFi network.
Levi said that there is also security software in the network that will prevent students from accessing malicious content and inappropriate websites.
He told the Government Information Agency (GINA) that the entire government network is filtered with the security software that will block access to harmful and inappropriate websites.
Noting that government agencies need to communicate with each other, Levi said the way to do that is through the network. He pointed out that the eGovernment agency is responsible for the network and will provide a wide area networking facility for all agencies budgeted for by the government.
“In 2016 we started that process and in 2017 we will continue that process and …every year, keep adding government agencies to our network,”, Levi said.
Among the ministries and agencies that have already been added to the eGovernment networks are the Ministries of Natural Resources, Agriculture, Public Infrastructure, Legal Affairs, Business, Education Annex, Finance, Public Security, Education, Public Health, Foreign Affairs, Ministry of the Presidency, Public Telecommunications, Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Social Protection, Communities, Department of Public Service, Citizens Security Programme, Arthur Chung Convention Centre, Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA), Guyana Police Force headquarters, Youth and Sports –Ministry, Guyana Revenue Authority, Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) and Parliament Office.
Meanwhile, an estimated $90 million will be used to provide Information Communications Technology (ICT) access for hinterland and remote communities throughout Guyana.
Community ICT hubs and Public Internet Access Points (PIAPs) will be established in Masakenari, Annai, Lethem, Waramadong, Paramakatoi, Aishalton, St. Cuthbert’s Mission, Linden, Bartica, Mahdia, Mabaruma, Port Kaituma, and Kwakawani, in addition to at least 24 more pilot communities across Guyana.
Levi explained that the agency will be using a local telecommunications company and a private circuit to reach the targeted communities.
We will be using data services that are available at the communications company to take us to those locations very quickly, so in this instance there will be no need for us to run cables to those locations,” Levi explained.
Reaching the remote areas will be done in two sections – one through the network using the private circuit and second way will be by using satellite based internet services for communities that are further off from the targeted communities’ ones that are mentioned above.
In all of these communities, ICT hubs will be established, Levi added.
Meanwhile, 17 Post Offices will be ICT ready in 2017.
Kamarang, Acquero, Mabaruma, Ituni and Aurora are some of the post offices that will be ICT ready in 2017.
There are 64 post offices throughout the length and breadth of Guyana. In the 2016 ten post offices were made ICT ready.