Internet coming for all police stations, 44 health facilities
November 23, 2012
Internet coming for all police stations, 44 health facilities

Four new contracts were signed Tuesday under the National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission’s (NTRC) Universal Service Fund (USF) project.{{more}}

The contracts were signed between the NTRC and telecommunications providers Karib Cable and LIME to provide all 27 police stations and 44 health facilities with high speed Internet and other telecommunications related services.

Kyron Duncan, USF Administrator, explained that the first contract signed between the NTRC and Karib Cable is expected to provide high speed wireless Internet to police stations and health facilities throughout the country at a cost of $711,015.00.

Every police station and clinic will also be outfitted with a computer, with the police training school getting 10, and according to Duncan, this would assist recruits and other officers in research work.

“This is going to improve on our communication capability…it’s going to make communication between the police force more effective and efficient,” Keith Miller, Commissioner of Police said.

He explained that communication strategy as it existed presently was centralized.

“We used to have to physically take documents in a van or when the information was sensitive, we would have a cyclist take it to the out districts,” Miller said.

“Now you understand what this means for us,” he continued.

The nation’s top cop also mentioned that briefing out district commanders will become easier and when convictions are made, information can be sent directly to the Criminal Records Office (CRO), rather than having someone from the court physically bringing in the information.

Regarding the health sector, Duncan also said that 14 computers will be installed at the Outpatient Department at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital and the provision of Internet service is expected to assist in the implementation of the Health Information System (HIS).

Kishore Shallow, Analyst in the Ministry of Health, explained that the project was about 80 per cent implemented in health facilities across the country.

The project was implemented to improve health care in the country, Shallow explained.

Karib Cable will also be providing high speed wireless service to community centres at a total cost of $127,307.81.

This contract, Duncan said, includes the provisioning of goods and equipment and covers the cost of Internet service for a period of two years.

“Community centres in Petit Bordel, Enhams, Stubbs, Point Village, Bequia, Vermont, Edinboro, Greiggs, Lowmans (Wd), Glen, Clare Valley, Kingstown and the Barrouallie Learning Resource Centres are being outfitted with high speed internet access with speeds of 8Mbs,” Duncan said.

The Salvation Army’s Children’s Home at Cane Grove will also be outfitted with six computers and Internet coverage, he said.

The third contract signed includes the provision of services and the maintenance of the Global Maritime Distress Safety System (GMDSS) for a period of five years which is expected to be executed by LIME Duncan said.

And the fourth project was for the implementation of the SMART project which, among other things, will facilitate the relevant platforms at the St Vincent and the Grenadines Community College to enable it to offer existing courses and programmes online and is expected to cost $1,698,994.

“This project is of significant importance to the educational sector and our country on a whole, as this project will work in tandem with the one netbook per child project currently being undertaken by the government,” Duncan said.

“The NTRC recognized the significance of being able to access tertiary level educational content via online means to the development of our nation, taking special consideration to the logistic challenges of our citizens in accessing content in an off-line environment at our Community College,” he continued.

The arrangement will also see the purchasing of 51 computers, including 24 Macintosh desktop computers.

An annual subscription to Blackboard Collaborate will also be provided, the USF administrator said. (DD)