Rural Link

June 8, 2007 (LBO) – The first of a series of ‘cyber-centers’ that will link rural business in Sri Lanka with the internet has been opened in the central hill town of Matale, the United States embassy said. The public private partnership where Qualcomm, Microsoft, and Sri Lanka’s Dialog Telekom InfoShare, National Development Bank, and Lanka Orix Leasing Company are teaming up with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) will see 25 such centres being opened.

The Synergy Strategy Group (SSG) which is working with USAID is expected to make all the cyber centres dubbed ‘Easy Seva’ operational in the next four months.

“Getting rural areas plugged into the internet and global commerce is enormously important for Sri Lanka,” said U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission James Moore was quoted as saying at the centres’ opening.

“It represents instantaneous access to the world.”

USAID Mission Director Rebecca Cohn says the center represents a new innovative business model to promote rural wireless broadband access that demonstrates the ability of technology to empower individuals and strengthen communities.

The centers will also provide rural residents a chance to acquire employment