Latest update March 25th, 2023 12:57 AM
Dec 24, 2016 News
The government will continue to expand the E-Government project across Guyana in 2017. In doing so, Minister of Public Telecommunications Catherine Hughes has said that government will have to buy bandwidth from the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GTT), as it would be impossible for the Brazil connection to reach Georgetown.
Hughes informed the National Assembly of this earlier this week when she was quizzed about the 2017 budgeted expenditure on the E-Government project.
She was asked by opposition Member of Parliament Juan Edghill to indicate to the House what the state was paying to the Brazilian provider under the People’s Progressive Party Civic. According to Hughes, her Ministry could find no record of the Brazil agreement among its records.
Hughes added that the plan to bring the cable from Brazil to Georgetown did not work and as a result, the government had no other option to provide the service but through an arrangement with GTT.
Edghill responded by informing Hughes that what was already paid to Brazil can be found in the Hansard. However, Hughes debunked Edghill’s stance by informing the House that there is no cable which can bring the connection to Georgetown.
She said that US$6M was already expended on that attempt and the country is unable to use the product. That money was spent on a cable intended to link Georgetown to Lethem with internet service provided by Brazil.
Hughes was also asked by opposition MP Joseph Hamilton to explain how the $314M allocation for the project in 2017 will be spent.
According to the Minister, procurement of internet access for government buildings to facilitate public internet access will cost $114.6M; securing the E-Government network infrastructure, $73M; extend the E-Government network to Timehri, $64.2M; procurement of software inclusive of data storage, $25M; design and implementation of network infrastructure for the Ministry of the Presidency, $10.5M; improving standby power and efficiency of data centre at Castellani House, $8.5M; to develop and implement software for feedback and interaction, $8M; the acquisition of a minibus and minivan to facilitate travelling between locations, $4M; procure licences, $2.2M and connecting educational institutions through fibre optic cable, $1.2M.
Hughes said that presently 22 government agencies have been connected on the network. Some of these are the Ministries of Natural Resources, Agriculture, Public Infrastructure, Central Planning and Housing Authority, Ministry of Legal Affairs, the Guyana Revenue Authority, the Guyana Public Hospital Corporation, Ministry of Business, Guyana Police Force Headquarters, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Public Security and Ministry of Public Health.
The Minister indicated that there will be an aspect of the project which will focus on citizens being able to report complaints to government agencies using mobile applications. She said that this will be implemented in 2017.
The bandwidth will be bought from GTT at a cost of US$145 per megabyte. The government is paying in total for one gigabyte per second.
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