WI-FI FOR ENTIRE SL

Govt. signs agreement with Google

The whole of Sri Lanka will be converted into a Wi-Fi zone by March next year providing internet access to those living in all parts of the country through an agreement signed between Global IT giant Google and the Sri Lankan Government at Temple Trees yesterday. The technology has become available through a simple beginning where the State Minister for Defence, Ruwan Wijewardene had a conversation with Chamath Palihapitiya a former Facebook Senior Executive and founder of the investment firm, The Social+Capital Partnership. During the conversation the latter had talked of the latest technology that had been introduced by Google. Later Mr. Palihapitiya together with Mr. Wijewardene, and several other deputy ministers and state ministers including Dr. Harsha De Silva, Eran Wickramaratne and Ajith P Perera had met President Maithripala Sirisena to brief him on the new technology. With the President’s instant approval, the proposal was on the fast track to becoming a reality. It did become a reality yesterday with the signing of an agreement between the Government and The Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) Google. Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samarawera who made the keynote address pointed out that from time immemorial Sri Lanka had been connected to the world. Located at the centre of the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka’s strategic position straddles the main East-West trade route. However, the same could not be said of modern Sri Lanka and pointed out that there was a single criterion for securing a simple landline connection. Patience. After filling reams of paperwork and running from office to office, one would have to wait for months and years before a telephone line materialized,” he recalled.

Google Vice President Mike Cassidy and Information and Communication Technology Agency CEO Muhuthan Canagay are seen signing the agreement to introduce Raven Aerocstar balloon technology through which the entire country will be made a Wi-Fi zone. Minister Mangala Samaraweera and Deputy Minister Harsha De Silva and State Ministers Eran Wickramaratne and Ruwan Wijewardene were present at the signing. PIC BY PRADEEP DILRUKSHANA

Sinhala and Tamil journalists can now use Google translated to read each other’s articles in the next few years, simultaneous voice translation between Sinhala and Tamil via smartphones will be the norm

But he said connectivity is not only about engaging with the world. “It can also connect Sri Lankans to each other and to their government. Sinhala and Tamil journalists can now use Google translated to read each other’s articles in the next few years, simultaneous voice translation between Sinhala and Tamil via smartphones will be the norm. Also, to combat corruption and make government services more accessible to citizens, we plan on placing as many government facilities as possible online,” the Foreign Affairs Minister said

State Minister Ruwan Wijewardene said this technology would help boost the country’s disproportionate economic growth. Deputy Minister Harsha De Silva who explained the technology said the balloons would be like a bunch of cell towers floating in the air. State Minister Eran Wickramartne said it was essential that the new technology be available to all at an affordable price.

Google Vice President Mike Cassidy said his company’s focus was to connect more people via internet. He said four billion people are still without internet. ICTA CEO Muhuthan Canagay said the new technology would help inter-connect 3500 government institutions which would ultimately create a cross-government platform and would make them paperless. He said focus would be made on introducing privacy laws.

Source : http://epaper.dailymirror.lk/epaper/viewer.aspx

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