[www.inewsguyana.com] – Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr Roger Luncheon has contradicted media reports that the Guyana/ Brazil fibre optic cable project has collapsed.
It was reported that four years after the agreement was signed between Guyana and Brazil for a fibre optic cable to link Government facilities, the project had to be scrapped because of technical defects.
But according to Dr. Luncheon the project which government has invested approximately $1 billion in is still onboard. “It is remediable,” he said.
The Cabinet Secretary admitted that there were defects to the project and it was in need of remedying even as he disclosed that he is currently engaged in negotiations with a local firm and another from a neighboring country to carry out rehabilitation of the existing cable that traverse over 200 kilometers from Lethem, Region Nine to Castellani House, Georgetown.
If the project is not rescued by government it will result in millions of dollars being wasted. “It cost a pretty penny and this is construction itself… I can’t be accurate but I am pretty certain and it exceeds over a billion Guyana dollars,” Luncheon added.
He reminded that in 2011 it was recognized that significant failures had occurred by contractors and supervisors who failed to meet their obligations. “This is what the talks and discussions are about, to give some correction and renovation of the defects that have been documented along the way.”
Luncheon said government has already moved to penalize those contractors.
Reports are that continuous breakage to the cable has left the project in limbo. Time and again the deadlines have been pushed back. The cable passes through difficult terrain along the Linden/Lethem trail. Logistics have reportedly caused major headaches for contractors.
Under the agreement, Guyana was reportedly paying Brazil US$150,000 annually for internet connectivity which Dr. Luncheon confirmed this morning but noted that since the mechanism for a connection to access the bandwidth has not been accomplished the Brazilians have been understanding.
The E-Government project was touted to feature a data centre, a transmission network and data network. The data centre, or control centre, is to be housed in the compound of Castellani House, in the same building that is used for the Central Intelligence Agency.
Government had announced that the connection would have allowed for, in addition to connectivity, a range of services such as “E-Health” allowing for video consultation, movement of information from one health centre to another and tracking disease outbreaks.
Regarding security, the project would allow quick transmission of information including video and data between police stations.
In education, the project would set up an “E-library” which would allow for access to textbooks and other teaching aids that can be used by students and schools, thereby lowering cost.