Blink and YTEPP combine to close the digital gap in T&T

An internal view of the YTEPP Mobile Computer Training unit

In commemoration of World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (May 17th) The Ministry of Science, Technology and Tertiary Education launched the “Closing the Digital Gap” programme which is aimed at bringing further awareness and understandingof Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to T&T’s citizens.As part of this, YTEPP unveiled its Mobile Computer Training Unit which is sponsored by Blink Broadband.

This Mobile Computer Training Unit takes the form of a fully equipped, attractively designed bus. This roving ICT instructional outlet will make its way into communities around the country on a mission to narrow the ‘digital divide’ in Trinidad and Tobago and to increase its citizens’ understanding of the role of ICT in their lives and as an enabler of economic and social transformation.

This nation-wide endeavor will seek to ensure that all citizens, including youth, women, the elderly, the differently-abled and persons living in remote and rural communities will have the opportunity to participate fully in the nation’s burgeoning digital society.

Thus far, these training units are available in areas such as Cedros, Tabaquite and Plymouth (Tobago) and more are expected to be rolled out in the not too distant future.

Pradesh Ramsumair (Business Development Officer for YTEPP) shared that these buses offer tutorials in all software ranging from Microsoft to Adobe and the instructors aspire to get communities proficient in various aspects of computer literacy which include but are not limited to setting up email addresses, navigating the worldwide web, conducting E-commerce transactions, online passports/visa applications and software/hardware identification and definition.

He added, “Our main goal is to reduce the digital gap in T&T and to empower and encourage the people of these communities to be self-sufficient. We have been working tirelessly alongside Blink Broadband to get this project off the ground and we are glad to have them as partners in this project as they are the premier internet service in T&T”.

Ramsumair noted that the buses will remain in their respective areas until the staff has trained all registered participants. Most notably, this programme is not a limiting one, having already served persons as old as 80 years of age and as much as 200 persons at a time coming out to gain ICT training from YTEPP’s professionally trained tutors.

TSTT CEO Roberto Peon offered this statement, “TSTT recognizes that access to technology for individuals is no longer a luxury. It is as important to determining your quality of life as having access to clean water, shelter, healthcare and food.We congratulate YTEPP for taking this initiative and we have put our support behind them by equipping the bus with Blink broadband access so that more people, who could not previously get access to computers and the Internet, could begin to feel the empowering effect of ICT”.

Lisa Hudson, Sales Manager, Blink Broadband echoed these sentiments saying, “Blink Broadband is privileged to be a part of this partnership with YTEPP. It commensurates the wider vision of TSTT as we are committed to ensuring every national embraces the digital era through the Internet and new digital solutions.  This partnership with YTEPP using a mobile unit affords us the opportunity to empower the youths and young at large to take that next step and experience the power of the internet for education and research, leisure and communication.

Senator the Hon. Minister Fazal Karim, Minister of Science, Technology and Tertiary EducationandThe Hon. Herbert Volney, MP for St. Joseph were in attendance during the launch and praised this landmark ICT caravan programme as well as Blink Broadband’s partnership in this venture