Sri Lanka to develop IT soft infrastructure and connect rural to digital world

July 20, 2015 (LBO) – Sri Lanka will connect all government departments though a digital platform and set 7500 Wi-Fi spots throughout the Island to educate and develop rural community, ICTA head said.

“In the new era of digitized Sri Lanka, we are not anymore talking to urban audience but to rural audience, and that is the type of soft infrastructure the government of Sri Lanka is really putting in and bring about whole aspect of people who are connected,” Muhunthan Canagey, Chief Executive of Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) of Sri Lanka said.

“And when I say people being connected we are talking about a lot of free Wi-Fi zones with larger bandwidth available to the rural folks , the areas that we believe only education can take place by opening and connecting to the digital world,”

“As the government plans to spend 6.5 percent of GDP on Education, we feel that broadband will play a crucial role in opening people out to the digital world.”
ICTA, is the apex ICT institution of the Government of Sri Lanka.

Canagey said, the government has already called tenders for 3500 connection links across the all government buildings in Sri Lanka with 100 GB backbone with each link having a 100 MBPS link with Wi-Fi hotspots.

“When I took this position I walked into quite a number of government offices and saw a lot of people standing out there waiting for services,” Canagey said.

“When I talk to them, they said they left home around 2 am in the morning and came to Colombo to see some officials,”

“We are in the 21st century and is this what we are doing? Is this the only reason why we build highways actually?”

“So we are now looking at providing a platform for an entire collaboration with government departments where they would set in some of the divisional secretariat offices, in provinces and share documents across though digital scanning,”

“Also we are setting 7500 Wi-Fi hotspots with 100 mbps backbone where citizens as well as public officials will be able to get use of it.”

Critics say the Island has a laid-back government sector where it consumes a lot of time to get a work done.

However the government increased state sector employees’ salaries despite the work performance, which is an action critic’s call as popular politics.