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340 homes to get $10 per month Internet for two years

340 homes to get $10 per month Internet for two years

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A number of Vincentians who fall in the low income bracket are benefitting from the National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission’s (NTRC) EC$10 per month Internet access programme.{{more}}

The EC$10 per month Internet access programme falls under the NTRC’s SMART project. This project allows, among other things, persons in the low income bracket to have Internet access for EC$10 per month for two years.

While persons on public assistance will be given first preference, any household that falls in the low income bracket can qualify, once that household meets a certain set of requirements.

Households which qualify to apply for the subsidy under this project are households that had no previous Internet access within the last two years, households with a student that is a beneficiary of the one laptop per child programme and currently has a net book and households that fall in the low income bracket.

Households with students in Grade Six in primary school, students in Form Four and Form Five in secondary school and students taking courses at the Division of Arts, Sciences and General Studies (A’ Level College, located at Glen), Division of Teacher Education (Teachers’ College, located in Plan, Arnos Vale), Division of Technical and Vocational Studies (Technical College, located in Plan, Arnos Vale) and Division of Nursing (School of Nursing, located in Largo Heights), will be placed at the top of the list.

Universal Service Fund (USF) administrator at the NTRC Kyron Duncan is encouraging persons who meet this criteria to come to the NTRC’s offices located in the National Insurance Services (NIS) building on Upper Bay Street and fill out an application form.

“The NTRC believes it is of great importance that households in the very low income bracket should not be left out of the opportunities that will become available through the work in this project (SMART Project) and other initiatives being done at the national and regional levels”, said Duncan on Tuesday.

“As such, this project is providing subsidized Internet access to 340 needy households for a two-year period at a speed of 1 Mbps. These 340 homes will pay a fee of $10 per month”, he added.

Duncan revealed that so far, a number of households have been given Internet access under the programme, while he is encouraging persons to come forward and take advantage of, “this great initiative”.

Expanding on the SMART Project, Duncan said that it also includes the donation of 51 computers, including 24 Macintosh desktop computers to the Community College. Some of these computers were handed over on Tuesday, May 14th, to the dean of the Division of Arts, Sciences and General Studies (‘A’ Level College, located in Glen) Nigel Scott and head of the E-College Project Ulric Sutherland during a ceremony held at the Division of Technical and Vocational Studies (Technical College, located in Plan, Arnos Vale).

The SMART Project is being executed at a total of $1,698,994.00 and is being carried out by LIME. $966,054 is for the purchase and installation of the equipment under this project and $304,650 is for the provision of the services under this project for a five-year period.

“This project is of significant importance to the educational sector and our country on a whole, as this project works in tandem with the One Net Book Per Child project and other ICT projects of the Ministry of Education,” said Duncan.

LIME won the bid for the SMART Project and signed the contract on November 20, 2012.

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