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LIME-powered Caribbean learning network launched
2013-03-01 14:29:48 | (0 Comments)
The Caribbean Research and Education Network (CaribNET), a broadband fibre-optic network constructed by regional telecoms LIME, was officially launched in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad on February 26.
Chris Dehring, Chief Commercial Officer, LIME Caribbean
CaribNET connects tertiary institutions, schools, hospitals and other educational establishments to knowledge development and research platforms, paving the way for enhanced interconnectivity and collaboration among Caribbean states.
It serves approximately 26 million people in 21 islands, who benefit from cost-effective access to high quality e-learning content and other knowledge resources from the region and around the world.
“CaribNet is a project that’s been long in coming in terms of the scope that it has for the Caribbean,” said Chief Commercial Officer, LIME Caribbean, Chris Dehring.
According to a release from LIME, Dehring said CaribNET has the potential to promote economic growth throughout the region and called for government and private sector support to ensure the network realises its full potential.
“More focus is needed if education is going to be the key to unlock the potential of this region, particularly in the creative industry,” he said.
“The private sector needs to get involved because at the end of the day, (it is) the private sector which benefits the most from these types of networks. It’s an eco-system and Government and every member of that eco-system have a part to play,” Dehring said.
Noting that only about 26 per cent of Caribbean nationals have high speed broadband Internet connectivity, Dehring said there was also need for better collaboration to overcome such challenges.
“When you compare it to North America and Europe, which is up in the 70s and 80s, you can’t help but think that the low penetration of Internet is part of the reason we are not progressing economically as we should,” he said.
“What that also speaks to is the affordability of broadband,” Dehring said, adding that “we need to address this.”
The network, which cost £10 million and is financed by the European Union, is connected to the world’s research and education community through AMPATH to North America, Geant to Europe and RedCLARA to Latin America.
CARICOM mandated the establishment of CaribNET to be coordinated and managed by the Caribbean Knowledge and Learning Network, a regional organisation established in 2012 to provide access to affordable digital technologies for building excellence in academic training, research and innovation, diversity and global engagement.
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Source: The Gleaner/Power 106 News
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