Latest update March 23rd, 2023 12:59 AM
Mar 06, 2014 News
Whilst Government’s E-Governance Project on the Coastland has moved ahead with the erection of 40 towers thus far; the designs for the relaying of the 560-kilometre fibre optic cable from Lethem to Georgetown are now being revisited.
This is according to Alexei Ramotar, Project Manager of the E-Governance Unit, during a recent interview with this publication. Tenders for the relaying of the fibre optic cable has not been opened since the Unit is examining design options, required equipment and companies that are capable of executing the project, Ramotar said.
In August last, Ramotar said foreign companies were lending their expertise via examining the laying of the fibre optic cable along Guyana’s rough terrain. Initially, Guyanese companies were contracted to execute the works in lots. However, not all of them were familiar with the task at hand and lax supervision caused the project to encounter problems.
Ramotar had said that the cost for the project may have significantly increased since local contractors who had bid for the project initially had underestimated the task. Apparently, the laying of one metre of cable could cost US$40 while local contractors had bid way less.
DAX Contracting and Dynamic Engineering completed their works satisfactorily. Sections executed by Mekdeci Machinery and Construction (MMC) and G. Bovell Construction Services have to be redone.
The affected areas include Mabura, Kurupukari, Annai, Linden, and the East Bank Demerara Public Road. The cables in Linden and on the East Bank of Demerara were destroyed after they were installed, and not as a result of poor quality work.
He said that the contractors who executed poor quality work have not been paid in full and Government’s lawyers are reviewing certain aspects of the contracts. The monies saved from not paying the contractors in full have allowed the Unit to have funding for the relaying of the cable, he said.
When this aspect is completed hinterland communities would be able to access the outside world via internet services.
“The Lethem to Georgetown project is an access project to help enhance connectivity since that is limited in those areas. We will have sites along the way and monitoring/ operational teams on the road every two-weeks doing checks to see if the road is being destroyed in the areas where the cable is,” he said.
Though knowledgeable of the infrastructural aspect of the project, Ramotar said he is unaware if Government will be an internet provider.
The hinterland access project will be connected to the E-Governance project at the Castellani House compound, where the data centre would be located. The coastal project E-governance Project is from Moleson Creek to Charity.
According to the Project Manager, the coastal project is on schedule and the biggest problem being encountered is vandalism. Of the 55 towers the Unit is expected to erect, 40 have been completed.
“Guyana Power and Light Inc.’s project has fiber as a component for their telemetric purposes. We are using and extending this fibre network,” he said.
Ramotar assured that Government would not be retailing internet services and households would not have access to internet via the network. However, public facilities in communities such as community centers, schools and police stations would benefit.
In addition, residents would be able to benefit from improved services offered by Government entities. He explained that residents in Berbice would not necessarily have to come to the Central Immigration Office to renew a passport. Instead, a kiosk could be placed in a Neighbourhood Democratic Council building and provide services similar to those being conducted by the main office.
Ramotar enlightened that the network could also help in crime fighting efforts. With the electronic network, and cameras being placed at various locations, security personnel could pre-empt crime and have automatic pictures of the licence plates of vehicles whose drivers disobeyed a traffic light signal.
He added that such systems are not unique and are being implemented across the world.
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