Fast Links

Sept 23, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka is to award a contract to provide broadband links to 500 rural schools by end 2008, expanding a network in which 1,100 public schools are already connected, officials said.

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Anura Dissanayake, director of the secondary education modernization program of the education ministry, said that Mobitel and Dialog Telekom have been short listed.

œWe are finalizing the documents and will be issuing the award this week, Dissanayake told LBO.

The successful tenderer will have to complete the links within the next few months.

The project is under phase two of the secondary education modernization program 2 (SEMP 2) funded by a 20 million rupee a month grant from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

It plans to add 500 more schools in rural parts of the island before the end of 2008.

Next year the SEMP project expects to connect 2,500 more schools into the ‘Schools Net’ system.

Each school connected to the system is provided with 23 computers.

œBy the end of 2010 we will reach 80 percent of school children in Sri Lanka,