By Yohan Perera
Sri Lanka will walk into a digital economy in five years’ time and will be able to get connected to the world, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said this week.
The prime minister made this remark launching Sri Lanka’s very first fibre broadband Wi-Fi machine in Galle Face on Monday.
“It will not be possible for the country’s economy to develop and survive if Sri Lanka does not become part of the digital revolution taking place in the world. We will have to move in to the digital era if we want the country’s economy to develop. There was an agriculture-based economy in the world in the past.
Then came an industrial economy. It was followed by an economy based on energy. Now we are in the advent of a digital economy. Sri Lanka too must embrace digital economy.
There will be at least 10,000 Wi-Fi machines installed in Sri Lanka in the future. The most important step is distributing tabs for all Advanced Level students. We will bring the digital economy to all homes. One would be able get connected to the world with a tab. Sri Lanka will walk into a digital economy in five years, the Prime Minister said.
“There will be 200 Wi-Fi machines in and around Colombo starting from today. There is a great demand for Wi-Fi. The number of mobile phones used in this country is more than its population.
Therefore, there is a great demand for digital infrastructure in order to get connected to the world. Therefore, the government has decided to focus on developing digital infrastructure,” he added.
Digital Infrastructure Development Minister Harin Fernando said Wi-Fi has been installed at 600 spots in the country already and the government’s target is to increase it up to 1000 before the end of the year.
“We have already installed Wi-Fi at 600 spots in the country to-date. Our target is to increase it up to 1000 before the end of the year. There would be a separate Wi-Fi network, which will cover all schools with the distribution of tabs for Advanced Level students by the end of this year or in January next year. There will be more than 8000 Wi-Fi spots in the country by April 2018 as a result of all these programmes. The programme will go on as planned though there won’t be much publicity given for it,” the minister said.
“There will be 200 broadband network machines in various parts of Colombo initially. These machines have several functions such as disposal of e-waste and other waste. Therefore, the city will be cleaned,” he stressed.