Liberia Research and Education Network to Provide Affordable, Effective Internet for Tertiary institutions

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MONROVIA – The Liberia Telecommunication Authority (LTA) has signed a licensing agreement with the Liberia Research and Education Network (LRREN) which gives LRREN permission to operate as an internet Service Provider for Academia.

The license is a special purpose license that gives LRREN the right to operate as internet service provider for higher institution and primary and secondary learning institution at a very affordable price for effective internet service provider.

Dr. Darren Wilkins if the CEO of the Organization said the organization will begin operation for the benefits of students. The pilot phase of the project is targeting students of the State-run University of Liberia, the AMEU, Stella Maris Polytechnic and the BlueCrest College.

Dr. Wilkins said: “Taking into consideration the Economic situation in the Country, and challenges students face in terms of using the internet, LRREN serves will be affordable. Our intent is to make sure that internet is affordable for every student.”

This according to Wilkins will also help improve Liberia’ education capacity. “This group is not only for internet it also allows institutions to network. We are currently a member of the regional body research network,” Dr. Wilkins noted.

Commissioner Edwina Crump Zackpah acting chairperson of the LTA, on behalf of the LTA said, the ceremony was part of President George Weah interest in ensuring that Liberians make use of the internet and technology.

“Giving this license will facilitate more research and usage of technology, in the agriculture sector, education sector and the health sector.”

According to her, research which LRREN is focus on is important to nation building because it breeds innovation.

The arrangement between the LTA and LRREN is in support of Liberia ICT policy which has a vision to facilitate Liberia’s transformation into a knowledge-based economy and inclusive information society with enhanced social development for all.

The policy thus recognizes the critical barriers that must be overcome in Liberia to achieve progress towards the SDG connectivity target and other regional commitments. The government’s role in the ICT sector will be addressed over the next five years.

Some of the strategy in the policy include, strategic leadership and coordination in promoting the use of ICT. To be most effective, this should be driven by the office of the head of state; ensuring there is an enabling environment and sufficient backbone infrastructure for the commercial deployment of ICT services. This is the responsibility of the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunication (MoPT) and the regulatory authorities.

Others include, providing support for ensuring access is affordable and available to all members of Liberian society; supporting the adoption of ICT within government, both for internal administration and for transactions with the public and business.

 This extends to providing connectivity to government institutions, hosting data and supporting the development of relevant government applications in recognition that some functions are currently being performed under various institutions.

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