Fourteen internet-ready computers are now available for use, free of cost, to residents of Albouystown, following the official opening of another Information and Communications Technology (ICT) hub by the Government.
Located in the compound of the Heavenly Light Church on Cooper Street, the hub will be open to the public from 4 pm to 9 pm daily, a release from the Department of Public Information (DPI) said on Saturday. Four community ICT hubs were promised to Constituency 10; Albouystown is awaiting one more, and the other two will be established in Charlestown, DPI said.
Director, Community Development and Social Management of the National Data Management Authority (NDMA), Phillip Walcott speaking at the opening, said that while affordability is a challenge for some citizens, connectivity is a problem for others; hence a US$31M project will be launched later this year, to extend the reach of the internet.
The failure of the One Laptop Per Family (OLPF) project, initiated under the previous administration was linked to the absence of connectivity and training. “It is amazing how many Guyanese are not equipped with such knowledge…the devices are now being used to prop up windows and beds,” he said.
DPI said that a call was made to stakeholders by Constituency Councillor Malcolm Ferreira to utilise the facility. He pointed out that the hub now needs a photocopier; printer and scanner all-in-one machine. Ferreira noted that acquiring space to house the hub was one of the most difficult tasks
The NDMA, which falls under the E-Government Unit of the Ministry of Public Telecommunications plans to establish 426 community ICT hubs across the country over a five-year period.