Six local institutions received computers from the National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (NTRC), as the regulatory body pushes forward to increase internet connectivity in St Vincent and the Grenadines.
On Tuesday this week, the NTRC handed over 10 all-in-one HP computers to the Stubbs, Owia/Point, Rose Hall Community Centers and the Paget Farm, Bequia library, which all received two of the devices, and one each to the National Trust and the Kingstown Day Nursery, at a ceremony that took place at the NIS Training Room in Kingstown.
Director of the NTRC Apollo Knights said that the initiative got sparked after discussions with an associate from the regional office of the International Telecommunications Unit.
“This point we are today started around February/ March this year and it’s good to see when you start something from an idea or discussion comes to fruition. He (ITU representative Sylvester Cadet) indicated that there was a possibility of us being able to get some computers in one of their regional projects and when something like that comes around you have to take the opportunity.
“So we had to get a formal request from our government via the ministry responsible for telecommunications, which our minister the Honorable Camillo Gonsalves, who is responsible for telecommunications in St Vincent, and then followed this up with the formal commitment because the ITU wanted to make sure that the computers will be sustainable in terms of their functionality and operationality going forward, so we had to commit to maintaining them going forward, so we will ensure that the computers are functional at least for the next three to four years since we required a warranty of 3 years on the computers.
“We also had to do a follow up with the ITU; we have to do a formal evaluation to see how the computers are going and the impact on the communities.
Knights went on to say that a lot of thought went into determining which institutions would be recipients of the computers, and pointed out that a number of sectors will be touched by the placement of the computers.
He said that the donation to the Kingstown Day nursery will impact the young ones, which are the future leaders of our country, while the community centers and library will cater for the young and old in the various communities, and the gift to the National Trust will help the organization in the work it is doing, to preserve the heritage of St Vincent and the Grenadines.
“While there are just 10 computers I think they will reach a couple hundred or thousands of persons based on them being in community centers, and the work that they will do will touch persons in our communities,” Knights added.
He indicated that the devices are valued at over thirty-seven thousand East Caribbean dollars, with the latest version of Windows 10, and a three-year warranty. He said that special attention was paid to the computers’ hardware and that the necessary software will be installed, according to the need of the institutions.
Also speaking at the ceremony was Roger Young representing the Ministry of National Mobilization, Deidre Millington-Myers of the National Trust, Leah Belmar of the Northern Grenadines Community Development Inc, and Nina Maloney, a board member of the Kingstown Day Nursery.
The recipients thanked Knights and the NTRC for the donation of the computers, which they indicated that they were most grateful for, and pointed out that they would ensure that the devices would be well managed, well cared, and are put to good use.
The recipients agreed that the computers will contribute to the NTRC’s objective of increasing access and use of information, communication, and technology in all aspects of life.