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39% of population connected to Internet – Hughes

first_img…says ICT strategy to be ready for consultations shortlyAcknowledging that it may sound like a low number, Public Telecommunications Minister Cathy Hughes disclosed on Friday that slightly less than 40 per cent of Guyana’s population has Internet connectivity.She made this admission in the National Assembly as she defended the frequent statements in the public domain regarding Guyana’s fledgling Information Communication Technology (ICT) sector.“I know in the press, I’ve been carried talking about our drive to provide connectivity. We’ve connected all the Ministries at this point in time. Over 150 government agencies, over 195 schools and we’ve created and opened in communities over 125 ICT hubs where there’s free Internet access,” she said.“The Internet penetration rate in Guyana today stands at 305,007 persons. That means that 39.6 per cent of the current population of this country are using and connected to the Internet. It might sound low, but it’s over 300,000 persons.”Hughes stated that while persons may say there was an absence of a strategy, it actually has not been put out for consultation. But according to the Minister, that does not mean that things are not happening, as she believes there is enough indication and discussion about a strategy.“It’s my pleasure to say that the Ministry of Public Telecommunications is close to completing and bringing an ICT strategy out for consultations,” she related. “But in the meantime, I want to say that almost four or five times a month we demonstrate in a tangible way how that strategy is working.”Earlier this month, the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) had hosted a road show in collaboration with the Ministry in various regions across Guyana. Some of the activities that were featured included an e-agriculture workshop, community outreaches, a cyber-security workshop, and an ICT youth fair.ICT strategyAt a recent press conference, Hughes had announced that the Government would be formulating a policy framework expected to bridge the gap which exists between the hinterland and coastal communities and steer Guyana into the 21st Century.“The Ministry of Public Telecommunications is developing the policy framework for the full utilisation of ICTs for our national development. This framework at a microeconomic level seeks to facilitate sustained economic growth and poverty reduction; promote social justice, transparency and equality; mainstream gender in national development; empower the youths and disadvantaged groups; stimulate investment and innovation and create universal access,” Minister Hughes had stated.She had noted that the benefits of the policy are goals which Guyana should work towards. However, the framework will only be effective if the current legislation is modernised, along with the development of the current ICT arrangement.“These, of course, are lofty goals which we’re determined to uphold and deliver. We recognise, however, that like every other policy initiative of this nature, there are going to be challenges. We have to continue to develop our ICT infrastructure. We also need to continue to modernise our current legislation and policy frameworks and we have to evolve our education methods and delivery for the 21st Century environment.”Meanwhile, it was announced that the training of personnel in the various fields of communication will also be done to highlight the intervention measures that are being taken by the Ministry to transform Guyana into a digital nation.“We are creating a digital Guyana. We know that we have to look critically at our human resource development and strategies and so our commitment to training will take us all there,” she had also said.The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) had noted in its end-of-year report that formal complaints against GTT totalled some 296 complaints for 2017, even more than the Guyana Power and Light (GPL).“The complaints received from GT&T followed the same trend as previous years with the majority of complaints received pertaining to technical issues. GTT has advised that the company is in the process of providing new technological installations to some of the areas which were previously served by the obsolete Fixed Wireless System (FWA),” the report had noted.“Data service via Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology is being offered to the Essequibo Coast. Areas such as La Grange on the West Bank of Demerara that was once served by the obsolete FWA system benefited from Fibre to the Home (FTTH),” the report had added.last_img read more

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Aguero inches Man City closer to title

first_img0Shares0000Narrow lead: Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero (right) celebrates his winner at Burnley © AFP / Oli SCARFFBURNLEY, United Kingdom, Apr 28 – Sergio Aguero’s 20th Premier League goal of the season left Manchester City just two wins from the title after a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Burnley at Turf Moor on Sunday.Aguero, who has now scored nine times in his past eight appearances against Burnley, struck in the 63rd minute, with a shot that only just crossed the line despite the best efforts of defender Matt Lowton to keep it out, although goal-line technology was needed to award the goal. The win takes City on to 92 points, one ahead of Liverpool, with two games to play.Victories at home to Leicester a week on Monday, and away at Brighton the following Sunday will see Pep Guardiola’s side retain their English title.For the first time in months, City’s elimination from the Champions League means they will crucially have a free midweek to prepare for those key matches.By contrast, Liverpool must travel to Newcastle next weekend, either side of the two legs of their Champions League semi-final against Barcelona, before hosting Wolves on May 12.City have now won 12 consecutive Premier League games but they had to work to maintain their composure against the Clarets.– Heaton frustrates City –Guardiola’s side enjoyed the bulk of possession, but found creating clear chances difficult. When they did, Burnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton was in excellent form.Heaton, a former Manchester United reserve, made two excellent saves in the opening minutes of the second half. He was alert at his near post to beat away Aguero’s shot, after Raheem Sterling’s neat flick had created the opening, before beating out Bernardo Silva’s snap shot at the end of a goalmouth scramble.Sean Dyche’s side knew before kick-off they were mathematically certain of Premier League survival, yet played as if they too were fighting for the title.Burnley even caused City the occasional first-half problem.Jack Cork chested down a ball on the edge of the penalty area and then hit a shot that struck visiting captain Vincent Kompany full in the face.As the home fans appealed for handball and screamed for a penalty, referee Paul Tierney put his whistle to his lips as if considering awarding one. Television replays, though, showed he was right not to.The Clarets’ best opening fell to Chris Wood, who was left to rue a poor first touch that denied him his big moment.Played through by Jeff Hendrick, the New Zealand forward allowed the ball to squirt away, and Ederson was bravely out at his feet to smother.At times, City’s frustration threatened to boil over.In the closing moments of the first half, Aguero over-hit a pass down the left for Leroy Sane, resulting in the ball rolling out of play, and the German responded by turning to his team-mate and flinging his arms out in despair.Eventually, though, City’s patience was rewarded. Bernardo Silva’s low ball into the middle found Aguero, who, with his back to goal and minimal space to work with, managed to fashion a shot that beat Heaton.Lowton, on the line, looked to have blocked the shot with his chest, but the ball looped up and just crossed the line before he could recover to clear it.If City were hoping that goal would provide the platform for a comfortable final half-hour, though, they were to be disappointed as Burnley continued to give everything.Few players were more committed than Burnley’s Ben Mee, the boyhood City fan who used to captain their youth team.He produced an extraordinary goal-line clearance to deny the visitors a second goal, stretching to hook the ball clear after substitute Gabriel Jesus collected Kyle Walker’s crossfield pass, and had gone round Heaton to shoot towards what he thought was an empty net.After that, City were content to run down the clock as they kept their cool to leave their northwest rivals with all three points.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

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