Guyana has set aside US$37.6 million to provide access to high-speed internet to more than 89,000 residents in 170 communities.
With this money, the government will upgrade the existing LTE network, build new data centers, outfit classrooms with new technology, and expand e-libraries, reports the Guyana Chronicle, citing finance minister Winston Jordan.
Also on the agenda are plans to launch new e-health solutions for remote healthcare services, and to deploy CCTV technology to heighten security.
Separately, the government has earmarked another US$17 million to provide ICT services in remote and far-flung areas. The initiatives will take off early next year, Minister Jordan told parliament.
“There are newer and more intelligent smartphones being released almost every month, some of which can monitor your health to a high degree of accuracy,” he told the house, explaining why the government is focusing on building digital infrastructure.
The Caribbean country is currently adding the final touches to its national ICT strategy, which will be finalized in 2018, according to Jordan. Since 2016, it has been running events like hackathons and code sprints to nurture young talent.
Guyana has recently launched a center of excellence in information technology (IT), which is expected to train more than 100 young people in network security, Java, and Android by the end of 2018.
Fixed broadband services have improved significantly in Guyana, but they are still comparatively slow and expensive when measured against other nations, largely because the number of broadband subscribers is small.