ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Internet comes to Lao schools
Rollout of the project began in December 2009, and the Lao-Viet joint venture company has already completed its first phase of network installation in schools and offices. In the first phase, 363 schools, colleges and universities, 13 education departments, and 124 district education offices have been given access to the Internet.
A ceremony to hand over the first phase of the project was recently held at the National Culture Hall between Unitel and the Ministry of Education.
Chairman of Unitel's Executive Council Mr. Oulaha Thongvantha represented the company in signing the agreement with Director General of the Planning and Cooperation Department of the Ministry, Mr Sengsomphone Vilaboud.
The ceremony was witnessed by Deputy Minister of Education Mr Lytou Bouapao and Vietnamese ambassador to Laos, Dr Ta Minh Chau.
The second phase of the 24 billion kip project (US$3 million) will begin shortly after the ministry provides a list of appropriate schools and education offices, a Unitel official said. Access to the Internet will be through 3G, ADSL and USB systems.
Under the project, Unitel has agreed to install the network and provide modems and free access to the Internet for the next five years, ministry official Mr Vilasak Thipphaned said. Unitel - a joint venture between Lao Asia Telecom State Enterprise, which has a 51 percent shareholding, and Viettel Global of Vietnam - is the first company to offer this kind of assistance to the Lao education sector, Mr Vilasak said.
The project is one of the so cial activities the company is undertaking to give back to society in line with its corporate vision that 'business operations must be combined with social activities'.
During the ceremony Unitel presented three computers with 3G USBs to three outstanding students with free Internet access for one year, as well as some additional funds to support their education.
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