With Linden residents disgruntled about their inadequate telephone and internet coverage, Region Ten Chairman Sharma Solomon recently urged them to lobby the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GT&T) to introduce Wi-Fi hotspots in their communities.
He made the call during a recent consultation to update residents of Linden and Region Ten on a ten-day visit he and the Chairman of the Linden Interim Management Committee (IMC) Orrin Gordon had made to China.
Stressing that GT&T earns millions of dollars in Linden, Solomon said there is no sound reason why GT&T cannot place hotspots for internet access in strategic areas in the respective communities in Linden. According to him, there are over 50 hotspots in Georgetown, but none in Linden. He was responding to dissatisfaction expressed by a number of stakeholders at the poor telephone and internet services in their respective communities.
A West Watooka resident and farmer said that a delegation from that community recently went into the GT&T office in Linden to request landlines but was told that the houses in the community are too far apart.
The female resident also stated that children who are to write the CSEC examinations and have to do assignments that require them to access information online are forced to leave the community to do such assignments. According to her, her daughter reaches home long after school hours because the internet cafes are full and people have to “wait their turn to get information when they can get it right in their home.”
Another stakeholder at the public consultation agreed and said people are complaining that the internet service in Linden is extremely poor and the service provider does not seem to care. Pointing out that the only way one can get access to the internet is via phone or DSL, the stakeholder said that some locations are disadvantaged and residents should press for hotspots or Wi-Fi service. The stakeholder added that pressure must be put on the service provider because there is great need for internet service.
During the discourse, Solomon said he is aware that effort is being made in advancing a number of community research centres in Linden and the region will request from GT&T that hotspots are placed in the vicinity of these centres.
“We don’t only want to put instruments (computers) in these centres but we would like young people with their own instruments to congregate around these centres,” Solomon said, while adding that when the region makes it demands for internet service at the various community centres he would like the people to back up those requests by loudly stating that Linden is contributing to a big chunk of GT&T’s earnings. (Jeff Trotman)