$4B for Public Telecommunications Ministry

─ ICT plays a pivotal role in reshaping economy

─ $375 Million hinterland ICT hubs

Over $4 Billion have been allotted to the Ministry of Public Telecommunications for the fiscal year of 2019.

This was announced by Finance Minister Winston Jordan during his Budget 2019 presentation to the National Assembly. He stated that the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) plays a pivotal role in reforming and reshaping the ways in which most of our traditional services are produced, traded and delivered.

He told the National Assembly that “in the initial phases of the digital transformation that is required, we will be focusing on key sectors and services, such as health, education and security.”

The Finance Minister said in 2019, plans are in place to pilot smart classrooms in all administrative regions which will deliver smart-education services, such as distance learning. In the area of medicine, audio-visual facilities will be provided for medical practitioners at over 30 healthcare facilities which facilitate engagements remote consultations with specialists.

The Finance Minister also disclosed that over 100 cameras will be installed around the city of Georgetown as part of the Safe City Solution and will feed into a command centre that will be established for the Guyana Police Force.

Through the e-network program, the government has provided internet connectivity to over 100 government buildings. In 2019, the Government seeks to expand the internet reach to Regional Democratic Councils, Neighbourhood Democratic Councils, fire and police stations, and outposts.

Minister Jordan noted that efforts towards the achievement of the ICT transformation will be accelerated with the development of the national broadband infrastructure.

“We will upgrade all coastal Long-Term Evolution (LTE) towers, which will be fitted with additional microwave equipment and LTE technology to provide for expanded bandwidth to support the delivery of e-services.”

The sum of $375 million will be used to equip 20 hinterland communities with ICT hubs, via satellite, in areas such as Kaikan, Jawalla, Phillipai, Paruima, Kako, Rewa, Surama, Toka, Kimbia and Wiruni. This is part of the US$17 million hinterland ICT access project and will benefit over 11,390 residents.

Source – Anara Khan – DPI

Image: Keno George.



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