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Patrons of public libraries to get free WiFi connectivity

BY: Severious Kale-Dery
Mr Hayford Siaw (left) receiving the MoU from Mr Rene Gameli-Kwame.
Mr Hayford Siaw (left) receiving the MoU from Mr Rene Gameli-Kwame.

An indigenous Internet service provider, Surfline Communications Ltd, is to provide registered members of all public libraries in the country with unimpeded access to Internet connectivity via WiFi.

The services will begin with libraries in the Greater Accra Region.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) to that effect was signed between the Ghana Library Authority (GhLA) and Surfline in Accra last Friday.

The acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the GhLA, Mr Hayford Siaw, and the Chief Executive Director of Surfline, Mr Rene Gameli-Kwame, signed for their respective institutions.

Terms

Under the agreement, Surfline will devise a revenue generating model for user subscription on the network for Greater Accra users and also provide live video streaming on Facebook for key events during the Year of Reading campaign which begins tomorrow, February 19, 2019.

The GhLA, for its part, will publicise and project the partnership between the two institutions in the social and traditional media, as well as provide space for branding Surfline during key events within the year.

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GhLA’s vision

Speaking before the signing of the MoU, Mr Siaw expressed delight that the partnership with Surfline would help the GhLA to be more connected.

He said it was refreshing to have libraries “where young people can come, pull out their laptops and get connected to the Internet through the WiFi.”

Mr Siaw said the vision of the GhLA was to ensure that every library in the country had Internet connectivity, where registered members of public libraries could be connected via WiFi.

He noted that while there was Internet penetration in the country, there was still a significant gap in terms of access to connectivity, noting that the libraries could serve as a bridge.

He announced that the GhLA was working with the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communication (GIFEC) to stock all libraries in the country with computers, adding: “Given the application of distance learning in the country, every single Ghanaian should have access to a computer and the Internet.”

Willingness of Surfline

Mr Gameli-Kwame, for his part, commended the management of the GhLA for taking such an ambitious step to revamp the libraries and also provide Internet connectivity.

He said Mr Siaw’s vision was encouraging and needed support and said his company was willing to partner the GhLA to ensure the realisation of the vision.

Mr Gameli-Kwame said Surfline, as an indigenous broadband wireless service telecommunications company, “goes beyond just providing Internet connectivity.”

He said Surfline was more than willing to go beyond just providing Internet connectivity because “we have a team of engineers who understand how automation works, how hosting works and we are more than happy to render these services to the GhLA to help you achieve your objective.”