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'Achieving MDGs calls for access to telephones'

Apr 19, 2010, 1:34 PM | Article By: Sainey M.K. Marenah & Alieu Jabang

Alagie Cham the Minister of Information and Communication Infrastructure has said that the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals calls for access to telephones at least after every five kilometres within The Gambia.

Mr. Cham was responding to a question from Hon. Bora Mass member for Kiang East constituency as to what factors are delaying the provision of residential telephone lines to villages where Gamtel has already erected antennas.

The Minister said that AIRSPAN is one of the those technologies deployed in many rural areas, especially to those sites located off the main roads.

According to Mr. Cham, telecommunication service delivery in the rural areas had been a major activity in the scheduled plans for Gamtel. To achieve this, he went on, Gamtel has always ventured in identifying suitable technologies for deployment in the whole country to serve the needs of the people.

"This same technology was used to provide house line services in over 200 villages countrywide, and amongst them are Jossoba and Medina Sancha with two lines and four lines respectively," he said.

He added that these lines were operational until the rains of 2009, when the whole system suffered from an unprecedented lightening strike that affected its main switch.

The same project, he added, took off in Kolior in the third phase, but was also not completed for the same reasons. He noted that the extent of these damages have already been established, and that Gamtel's management is working on the purchase of the required parts needed for the services to be restored accordingly.