PRESS RELEASE – PRIME Minister Allen Chastanet spoke enthusiastically about the prospect of island-wide internet access when he addressed the ceremony for the installation phase of the Government Island-wide Network (GINet) Project on Wednesday.
The project aims to help develop a wireless local area network (WLAN) in public areas in order to provide residents, tourists and people conducting business with free and/or low-cost internet access.
The Prime Minister, who is also Minister for Finance, Economic Growth, Job Creation, External Affairs and the Public Service, explained that the project is in keeping with Government’s plans to enable access to information for residents as well as develop village tourism and ensure visitors to Saint Lucia can stay connected while enjoying our island.
The Governments of Saint Lucia and the Republic of China (Taiwan) initiated discussions on the establishment of a GINet under the Information and Communication Technology Cooperation Agreement and the Government is now at the point of the installation phase of the GINet backbone and WiFi access points.
Taiwan is contributing US$3.28 million to the project, with the Government of Saint Lucia providing the remaining US$720,000 to meet the estimated project cost of US$4 million. In addition, the Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) has provided training in the installation and maintenance of the network.
The Prime Minister profusely thanked the Taiwanese for their continued support to the programme which will not just increase in the use and access to the internet but also improve Saint Lucia’s ranking in the world’s Network Readiness Index.
At the ceremony, Douglas C.T. Shen, Taiwan’s Ambassador to Saint Lucia, expressed his Government’s continued commitment to the project. Also coming in for thanks were K-Best, Institute for Information Industry (Triple I of Taiwan), FLOW, Government Information Technology Services (GITS) and Digicel.
The project is expected to be completed within the next three months.