FEBRUARY 2013; KINGSTOWN, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines – Three hundred and forty households are expected to benefit from the National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (NTRC), Smart Project, here in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
According to Universal Service Fund Administrator (USF), Kyron Duncan, “These 340 homes will be outfitted with 1mbps internet at a subsidized fee of EC$10.00 per month for a period of two years, and the remainder of the cost for the service will be paid by the Universal Service Fund.”
Duncan said that application forms will be provided by the NTRC and persons meeting the necessary requirements, would be granted internet access through the programme.
He said the requirements are that the households must not have any previous internet access within the last two years as well as the household must be on the public assistance programme of the Government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines for the last twelve months.
According to Duncan, the household must have a student who was a recipient of the one laptop per child program and currently has a notebook. The NTRC Administrator also noted that Grade 6 students and students in Form 4 and 5 respectively, and students taking courses at the Community College will also be given priority.
Duncan noted that the NTRC believes it is of great importance that households of the low-income bracket not be left out of the opportunities that will become available through this project, and other initiatives being done at the national and regional levels.
Meanwhile, General Manager of LIME, Leslie Jack said the project would have immediate impact on the education revolution and entrepreneurial activities of many young Vincentians. He added that it would have long-term benefits for the country’s economy as “we continue to find ways to compete with advanced countries.”
He said the project brings benefit to 340 households who would not have had the opportunity to have access to the internet. Jack said that LIME would continue to work with the NTRC and the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines to identify and implement these projects. He said they are also looking forward to enhancing the lives of many Vincentians particularly the 340 households.
The Smart Project will among other things, facilitate the necessary infrastructure and platforms at the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Community College to enable it to offer its existing courses and programmes online and in real time.
Part of this project will be the purchase of fifty-one computers including 24 Macintosh desktop computers which will be installed at the Community College.