LIBTELCO Working With Google, C-Squared to Improve Liberia’s Internet Connectivity
Monrovia – The Managing Director of the Liberia Telecommunications Corporation (LIBTELCO) Dr. Darren Wilkins has said that LIBTELCO has a strategy to work with Google/C-Squared to deliver Internet services to Government and the people of Liberia.
Dr. Wilkins said that as the National Operator, LIBTELCO has a mandate as enshrined in the Telecommunications Act of 2007 and the National Telecommunications and ICT policy, to provide ICT services to Government and the people of Liberia.
“We are the National Operator. This means we will always have a significant role to play in any ICT initiative that impacts the country and its people.
The advent of the Google’s Project Link has been a motivation for LIBTELCO to identify strategic approaches that involve innovation and creativity to carry on its mandate as the National Operator.
“We will leverage Google/C-Squared Metro Fiber Ring and take full advantage of the transformational potential of connectivity and the internet to deliver services to Government and the people of Liberia,” says Dr. Wilkins.
The Metro Fiber Ring that is going to be built by C-Squared will create a level playing field for all. Google/C-Squared comes in as a “Carrier of Carriers.”
This means it is only coming to bring capacity from the shores and provide an empty pipe for its customers to fill.
The customers will then need to fill the pipe with content such as voice, data and or video. Some potential customers include the mobile operators and the various Internet Services Providers (ISPs).
Asked about some of the strategic approaches LIBTELCO intends to apply, the LIBTELCO boss said that LIBTELCO will connect all Government of Liberia Ministries, Agencies and Commissions to a secure network.
Dr. Wilkins indicated that LIBTELCO will provide other services to Government from the national data center which is currently under construction.
Some of these services include but not limited to: hosting services, co-location, cloud computing, VoIP and other innovative solutions to help achieve the Government’s e-government goals, reduce cost and improve operational efficiency.
According Dr. Wilkins, “LIBTELCO will provide full ICT services to the GoL. We are now building our National Data Center which will host GoL data and applications and provide other services as needed.
We are also preparing to take over the servicing Government’s IT equipment through our Technology Equipment Repair and Refurbish Program (TERP).
Currently, GoL technology equipment are being serviced by individuals and firms that could have access to and misuse sensitive GoL data, and that’s not good from a national security point of view.”
In terms of commercial services, the LIBTELCO boss hesitated to deliberate on this issue. He said that LIBTELCO will continue to provide fiber to the home and all of the services it currently provides on a commercial basis to its customers.
“In terms of the new and innovative services we plan to provide, I will not divulge that information to you because we have competitors.”
“But I do know we have a strategy in place that leverages the competitive advantage we currently have”, Wilkins said with a smile on his face.
“Look around, see how things are changing at LIBTELCO.
“We have a young, enthusiastic, innovative and motivated staff, ready to jump on any opportunity or tackle any challenge. There is still a lot of work to be done and a lot of resources needed to achieve our goals.”
“But we are prepared and ready to work hard to achieve those goals. We continue to enjoy the support of the President and our Board of Directors. Now the burden is on us to deliver.”
Recently, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf along with the American Ambassador to Liberia and other dignitaries launched the Google Project Link at the Boulevard Hotel.
During her extemporaneous speech at the Launch, President Sirleaf said that she expects to see LIBTELCO play a major role in Google Project Link.
LIBTELCO has been struggling to revive since the Civil War started. Since President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf took over in 2007 a lot of progress has been made at the Corporation which suffered major damages during the 14-year civil war.
The new management of LIBTELCO seems to be working diligently to be able to compete with other operators and ISPs. It is clear that they are making some progress which we hope can and will be sustained.
“We are only building on the excellent work that our predecessors did while they were here,” said Dr. Wilkins in what seemed to modest tone.