Sri Lanka Telecom gets govt high-speed broadband deal

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka Telecom has been selected to provide a high-speed broadband fibre optic government communications network, known as Local Government Network, that will link offices and provide services to the public as well as free public Wi-Fi.

The Local Government Network (LGN 2.0) is to be done by the Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) during 2016-2018 at a cost of Rs12.7 billion.

Government spokesman Mass Media Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka said there were concerns about the slow data transmission speed of the existing LGN, introduced by ICTA during 2007-2012 for maintaining digital interaction between public institutions and general public and among public institutions.

“This is a major obstacle to achieve the government’s aim of digitalizing the economy,” he told a news conference.

The Cabinet of Ministers this week approved a proposal by Harin Fernando, Minister of Telecommunication and Digital Infrastructure, to implement the LGN 2.0 providing high speed connectivity and free Wi-Fi services for e-Government activities, he said.

According to the proposal, Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) was given the deal through single source selection, despite an earlier decision to use an open procurement process to select the vendor, as SLT has a license to build the National Backbone Network and provide last-mile connectivity using optic fibre cables.

SLT has set up an NBN firbe optic network covering 315 Divisional Secretariat areas out of 331 such areas.

The government also decided to allow SLT to negotiate with other Internet service providers to provide services on LGN 2.0.
(COLOMBO, Oct 20, 2016)

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