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Gov’t collaborating with Chinese company to provide internet in remote areas

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Government is moving to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Chinese company, Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. to further develop its telecommunications sector and provide services in remote areas. This is in addition to the programme currently in progress to connect all secondary schools in the three counties.

 

During a Press Conference on Friday at the Ministry of Telecommunications, it was disclosed that the MOU which will be signed in approximately two weeks is the outcome of a recent visit to China by a delegation from the Ministry of Public Telecommunications and the Citizens Security Programme, (Ministry of Public Security).

 

Huawei Technologies, the company that built Guyana’s Coastal fibre optic network, will now be conducting an assessment to determine the areas in which the network can be expanded.

 

According to Head of the EGovernment Unit, Floyd Levi, Satellite technology is actively being pursued since fibre optic cable is more expensive and arduous to install. Satellite technology is more expensive, however Mr. Henry assured that the bandwidth for those locations is not as high to necessitate the use of fibre optic connections.

 

“We have sent out expressions of interest to local satellite providers (as you are aware, there are several local satellite providers) and they have accepted those requests and are now providing estimates for those. But we also recognize that the numbers that we will be looking at to be quite huge so we expect to have an economy of scale brought to bear, when pricing is considered” he told media operatives.

 

Since there is currently only one data centre built for the network which is located in Georgetown, the Project Manager said the possibility of creating another data centre is being looked at; either at Timehri, Kuru Kururu or Linden.

 

The company will also be required to train local technicians to take over the operations of the centre.

 

Project Manager of the Citizens Security Programme, Clement Henry outlined the benefits of the program to the security sector.

 

“We’ll be able to get better video surveillance, real time analysis and response, improve traffic management where mobile units will be able to have access to the data centre, be able to improve the quality and quantity of data available to the crime observatory and the policy analysis that will be located in the Guyana Police Force and will be able to respond faster to emergency situations” he outlined.

 

Questions were raised in relation to reliable power given known issues with the Guyana Power and Light Inc. to which Minister of Public Telecommunications highlighted that systems are also being looked at, to improve the services offered by GPL. She also highlighted that the various forms of renewable energy that is being looked at, will also serve a vital purpose.

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