The Government of Guyana, through the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), has begun the installation process of 1000 free internet access hubs across five regions.
Dubbed ‘The 1000 Hubs Project’, the initiative, which is a collaborative effort between the Industry and Innovation Unit at OPM and the National Data Management Authority (NDMA), will result in thousands of persons benefitting from free Wi-Fi.
The hubs will be outfitted with the 1000 internet boxes (LTE/WiFi CPE) presented to the Government by Chinese multinational technology corporation, Huawei, in November last year.
During that presentation, Prime Minister Mark Phillips had said that the donation will assist his Government in its aim to bridge the digital divide in Guyana.
The LTE boxes are capable of transferring 4G networks outdoors at over 300 metres and just below 100 metres indoors to more than 100 users at a time.
Head of the Industry and Innovation Unit, Mr. Shahrukh Hussain, said that Pomeroon-Supenaam (Region Two), Essequibo Islands-West Demerara (Region Three), Demerara – Mahaica (Region Four), Mahaica-Berbice (Region Five) and East Berbice – Corentyne (Region Six) were selected because of the proximity of the LTE towers on the coast.
Residents of Region Six were the first to benefit from the initiative, through the installation of the Wi-Fi devices at the Bush Lot Secondary School and four Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) buildings (Canefield/Enterprise NDC, Good Hope/No. 51 NDC, Port Mourant/Johns NDC and the Adelphi NDC). Other public buildings in the region assigned for free internet access include Manchester Training College, Kilcoy/Hampshire NDC and the Williamsburg Health Centre.
Mr. Hussain urged community members to make full use of the free Wi-Fi spaces. He said the initiative takes the total free government internet access points in Region Six to approximately 66.
Work in Region Two is scheduled to commence in March with the installation of 18 hubs to add to the existing 32 internet access locations there. Hussain noted that the entire project should be completed before the end of the year.
The hubs are geared to complement the current installation of ICT hubs in approximately 200 communities through the ICT Access and eServices for Hinterland, Poor and Remote Communities Project, also under the Prime Minister’s direct supervision. The Government of Guyana has been promoting ICT development. At last month’s budget, it was announced that $1.3b will be allocated to support the rapid development of the ICT sector this year. (Extracted and modified from the Department of Public Information)