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Full speed ahead for islandwide network project

By Office of the Prime Minister

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(PRESS RELEASE) – Prime Minister Honourable Allen Chastanet spoke enthusiastically about the prospect of Island-wide internet access when he addressed the ceremony for the Installation phase of the Government Island-Wide Network (GINet) Project on Wednesday.

The project aims to help develop a wireless local area network (WLAN) in public areas in order to provide residents, tourists and persons conducting business with free and/or low-cost internet access. The Prime Minister, also and Minister for Finance, Economic Growth, Job Creation, External Affairs and the Public Service, explained that the project is in-keeping with Government’s plans to enable access to information for residents as well as develop village tourism and ensure visitors to Saint Lucia can stay connected while enjoying our island.

The Governments of Saint Lucia and the Republic of China (Taiwan) initiated discussions on the establishment of a GINet under the Information and Communication Technology Cooperation Agreement and the Government is now at the point of the installation phase of the GINet backbone and WiFi access points. Taiwan is contributing the sum of USD 3.28 million to the project, with the Government of Saint Lucia providing the remaining USD720.000 thousand to meet the estimated project cost of USD 4 million. In addition, the Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) has provided training in the installation and maintenance of the Network.

The Prime Minister profusely thanked the Taiwanese for their continued support to the programme which will not just increase in the use and access to the internet but also improve Saint Lucia’s ranking in the world Network Readiness Index.

At the ceremony His Excellency Douglas C.T. Shen, Ambassador to Saint Lucia for the Republic of China (Taiwan) expressed his Government’s continued commitment to the project. Also coming in for thanks were K-Best, Institute for Information Industry (Triple I of Taiwan), FLOW, Government Information Technology Services (GITS) and Digicel. The project is expected to be completed within the next three months.

(24)(3)
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12 comments

  1. Laptops are out. Teaching with technology means allowing students to use their own cell phones to follow their courses.

    Myopic country bucks and old folks make a lot of noise about laptops. Great thinkers can go beyond laptops as mere toys for the simple and depraved minds of the sex-obsessed.

    (8)(1)
  2. This is the most significant project to ever take place in this country. I love the speed, intent and implications of this project.

    It will help give this country a heads up on the regional competition, as a place for FDI (Foreign Direct Investment). This is better than the current notion of CIP.

    The next step for the Ministry of Education is TECHNICAL EDUCATION, all based on the ENGINEERING disciplines. That will leapfrog most of our current challenges and difficulties of development.

    Back this with adult technical education, and we are going to be on a real growth trajectory.

    Go Saint Lucia! Go!

    (10)(1)
  3. Hey!FREE and LOW COST don't come in same sentence...its either free OR low cost...let's hope it's not like decreasing VAT where every weigh-able item at the supermarkets seem smaller for the price....

    (6)(4)
  4. Waiting for a definition of service, particularly what is meant by free, and what is meant by low-cost, and for whom, specifically!

    Also, who administers the network; how is our privacy protected; how is our right to free speech protected from censorship; what recourses we have to combat abuses of our rights.

    (6)(4)
  5. Great job uncle Kervyn

    (0)(3)
  6. Why aren't those funds being used to better the Health Care Services and Hospitals in Saint Lucia instead of island wide wifi that is not a necessity right now in this country, you'll rather improve things for the tourists and big business people, what about the citizens don't we deserve proper health services, better hospitals, more doctors, efficient equipment and supplies at the hospitals .Why is wifi a priority and not fixing the health care sector in this country not this isn't right !!!

    (8)(10)
  7. That's Mr pm, whiles they talking horses dump you their working.

    (9)(3)
  8. MisterEasterLoverForever

    Wish FLOW has little input in this venture.

    (12)(2)
  9. Isnt this more beneficial than just providing laptops? Just as i have questioned many of the developments in ST. Lucia which sometimes politicians try to flash our eyes with. Examples include:

    1. Privacy laws which were enacted to protect cyber bullying and defamation. However, they have not pass laws to accept electronic evidence in Courts. So of what relevance was it to pass the laws? The recent case where the young boy sexually abused the young girl police hands are tied because although there is a privacy law the police cannot bring the video as evidence to Court.

    2. The Anti-gang legislation which to date nobody can be charged or prosecuted under, although the police and citizens see evidence and have knowledge of the operation of criminal gangs in St. Lucia.

    3. The Telecommunications legislation which allows for liberalization and consumer protection through a Commission. However, the Commission has little power to prevent most abuses meted out to consumers or stop monopolies. What should have been established was a Fair Trade Commission to prevent abuses by any company whether they into telecoms, electricity, water, insurance or any other sector.

    Shortsightedness is killing us yet we sing praises to politicians everyday in the media without evaluating the merits to be gained from their actions. A laptop cannot help a child to do homework, it is information which assists the child. Although some people will argue that a laptop is is a starting point, however, i had argued that access to information is more significant so it should be the ultimate aim. They could have provided laptops to the schools where the children would have access to computer labs and borrow it from the school to complete assignments. That would also prevent the abuse of the laptops and would curtail their access to unfiltered information.

    (12)(1)

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