$500M to advance ICT in hinterland communities

As part of the government’s agenda to bring the same level of connectivity to the hinterland communities as on the coast, some $500 million has been allocated to further advance the expansion of ICT facilities and initiatives in hinterland areas.

This was disclosed by Senior Minister in the Office of the President with Responsibility for Finance, Dr Ashni Singh, during his presentation of Budget 2023 on Monday.

$500M to advance ICT in hinterland communities

The minister recalled that the deployment of Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) equipment is now providing over 60,000 residents in 161 hinterland communities with internet service.

VSAT is a tool used for the transmission of data, voice, and video signals over a satellite communication system.

Moreover, the finance minister highlighted that 93 communities have benefitted from funding for the establishment of ICT hubs, with another 107 communities set to benefit from this initiative in 2023.

He said, “The 93 beneficiaries would have also seen the construction and equipping of ICT hubs in their villages, of which 72 are operational and the remainder slated to be completed in the first quarter of 2023.”

Another measure slated for completion this year is the expansion of the fibre cable network by 115 km.

This is only one aspect of the government’s continued efforts to bridge the digital divide. Some $4.7 billion has been allocated for the further development of hinterland and indigenous communities across the country.

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