More hinterland communities to benefit from increased internet access

-As 86 communities benefit so far

Residents in Amerindian communities countrywide will continue to benefit from improved internet access as the government through the National Data Management Authority (NDMA) makes significant investments to increase the bandwidth.

This was disclosed by Deputy General Manager of NDMA, Orson Smith, as he addressed the recently concluded National Toshaos Council (NTC) Conference 2023, at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC), at Liliendaal.

NDMA team delivers internet connectivity at Paurima region 7

“When we were here the last time you were receiving around two megabits per second. We moved it to four in October and some of you are now at five or ten as of April of this year. Some communities that are near the coast like the ones in the Pomeroon area, actually have a faster connection,” Smith stated.

One of the ways that bandwidth is delivered is via satellite. Villages that benefit from that type of service have the advantage of benefitting from free telephone service.

Youths in Paurima enjoy internet service

“We also provide you with a phone service and I know right now several communities have benefitted. With that phone you can call for free to other villages that are on the network, as well as any landline in the country,” the general manager highlighted, noting that some 86 communities have benefitted from the initiative to date.

The NDMA provides connectivity for government services while working with government agencies to deliver e-services.

Smith also said the NDMA supports the government’s manifesto promises to provide increased access to cheaper data and bandwidth by scaling up state-sponsored efforts to provide countrywide cover, with fibre optic cables and other wireless options to provide subsidised access to poor and remote households.”

The government had invested $130 million in the setting up of the only government-owned satellite ground station, which currently services 124 communities nationwide, with more to be added.

Meanwhile, Smith said that the service was established mainly to facilitate residents and their internet browsing and research needs.

Persons are being trained as hub managers, and the NDMA will also partner with these persons to troubleshoot and maintain the equipment.

“We will continue to upgrade the existing services to increase your bandwidth…we are working with some options and we are being guided by the policymakers on where we can go with that because we want to give you greater reliability and greater availability,” Smith concluded.

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