Telecommunications is a vital feature of a nation’s infrastructure, without which socioeconomic development is next to impossible. Telecom networks touch all sections of society; they are the frame through which the information that gives a country its lifeblood flows. The Government of Guyana (GoG) in collaboration with the Government of China (GoC), through Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., jointly constructed the nation’s e-government network to assist the Government to enhance its social influence and contribute to continued prosperity.
The network encompasses the fiber and LTE deployment.
The Transport Network
The eGovernment’s transport network consists of 53 Towers, inclusive of four (4) core sites, a Data Center in Georgetown 48 microwave links and an outside plant (OSP) comprising of east west and south chain totaling 54 KM of optical fiber. The LTE sites extend East to Skeldon, West to Parika and South to Lethem (microwave not installed) from Georgetown. These sites are connected by microwave links nodes, and are limited to a maximum capacity of 360 Mb/s. While the microwave backhaul is capable of delivering 150 Mb/s per LTE towers.
Georgetown - Fiber ring
The completed national backbone network comprises of a “capital ring” networks and microwave and a LTE network. The project was designed to meet current communication requirements and lay a solid foundation for future service evolution. The capital ring currently includes a fiber optic infrastructure that spans the geographic locations that encompasses 27km of fiber and is part of a network structure that delivers sufficient bandwidth for access nodes and avoids single point failures. It encompasses four (4) core sites (Dolphin Secondary School, Transport Sports Club, University of Guyana and Castellani House) and one node site (National Frequency Management Unit - NFMU) with redundancy (see attached image) that eliminates service interruption caused by networking issues.
This “capital ring” though not limited to, can provide among others:
- Increases the transparency of government activities
- Enables departments to share public data
- Enhance inter-departmental coordination
- Reduces government administration costs, and generally improves work efficiency
This ring provides a dedicated network for the government that can easily construct and maintain its official website and implement a business information platform capable of attracting more foreign investment and generating employment opportunities. Thus, the government can both improve its international reputation and seek to further boost economic development.
Government to Government services supported by eGovernment (G2G)
According to the World Bank Group (WB), indicators measured of Doing Business (DB) Report 2016, Guyana ranks 137 (DB2015 rank: 132). In an effort at improving the ranking and the ease at doing business, the Government of Guyana (GoG), through the Ministry of Business (MoB) has initiated a series of measures to improve the Ease at which business can be facilitated in Guyana.
This process entails designing a concrete and comprehensive program aimed at implementing reforms to improve the business environment and to encourage and retain investment thus fostering competitive markets, growth and job creation. The Indicator Based Reform advisory project aims at:
- Implementing reforms and initiatives that seek to strengthen the business environment and improve the ease of doing business.
- Administrative and legal reforms with regulatory improvements.
- Implementing IT infrastructural measures to encourage and support growth within the business environment.
eGovernment’s involvement is to provide the network infrastructure in support of interconnectivity of the identified entities via fibre to the Premises (FTTP) or/and LTE to one or more of the eGovernment network nodes; allowing for communication within and across these agencies. To this effect, the project, which is expected to last 3 years, emphasizes the introduction of ICT to make governance in support of Doing Business more efficient and effective across the following government ministries/agencies:
- Commercial Registry
- Deeds Registry
- Land Registry
- Guyana Revenue Authority
- National Insurance Scheme
- Central Housing and Planning Authority
- Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission
The MOF currently has a wide area network (WAN) microwave infrastructure that spans several GoG ministries and departments and provide a direct virtual private network (VPN) connection to the Integrated Financial Management and Accounting System (IFMAS) business solution. With the fiber optic backbone infrastructure the MOF can now leverage the system use across the capital ring to integrate a faster and more secure network connectivity across ministries and Agencies. This will result in a cost saving on behalf of the MOF with regards to its current WAN infrastructure once the identified services are moved to the fiber optic backbone.
The following Ministries were chosen for the pilot project and has since been completed.
- Ministry of Finance
- Ministry of Education
- Ministry of Public Health
- Ministry of Public Security
The pilot testing has an incubation period of two (2) months, there after the remaining ministries and agencies will be phased in accordingly.
The Maritime Administration Department is the primary organization for maritime policy and administration for the Government of Guyana. It performs several important Flag State Functions, Ship registrations, ship inspections and certifications, port state control functions, port security, implementation of international conventions and the examination and certification of seafarers. In addition this is necessary to bring Guyana into compliance with international maritime requirements regarding the documentation of seafarers and the tracking of seafaring activities.
In MARAD's quest to establish its organizational IT goals by 2019, it has solicited services from the eGovernment for the provision of connectivity services via eGovernment network. It is intended that the connection will support the goals of MARAD’s mission as it requires ICT specialized solutions which will enable the workforce to efficiently collaborate through such in order to achieve excellence in its IT service delivery. This process will also entail the restructuring of the existing IT workforce and incorporate a change management process to promote effective and efficient customer-focused service delivery.
Since the supply of the service will create its own higher demand, eGovernment could find itself under increasing pressure for additional services. It is in this regards that a rebus and expansive network is needed. eGovernment in collaboration with GPL can make use of the dark fibers in GPL’s fiber connection. The intention is to utilize GPL’s spare fiber capacity to connect the LTE sites which are in close proximity to the existing GPL fiber route and assist GPL in expanding its connection to other commercial and operation centers. In utilizing GPL’s spare capacity, it will form eGov’s fiber optic backbone or primary operational network and eGov’s microwave network in return will serve both GPL and eGov operational redundancy needs. This would significantly reduce the high capital investment cost for a new infrastructure; maximize the use of GPL’s spare fiber optic network capacity and enhance network maintenance between the two parties.
Through its government-to-business (G2B) services, the colocation services hosted across the eGovernment transport framework is intended to provide among other equipment, space, and bandwidth for rental customers. Colocation facilities provide space, power, cooling, and physical security for the server; space in the facility is available for leased by rack, cabinet, cage or room. This service benefit, allows for a cost saving to businesses associated with maintaining a large computing facility and that of opportunity cost aligned to disaster recovery.
The following Ministries/Agencies have been connected to our fibre network
- Ministry of Public Telecommunications
- Ministry of Natural Resources
- Ministry of Agriculture
- Central Housing & Planning Authority (CHPA)
- Ministry of Public Infrastructure
- Ministry of Legal Affairs
- Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA)
- Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC)
- Police Headquarters
- Department of Culture, Youth & Sport
- Ministry of Finance
- Ministry of Education
- Ministry of Public Security
- Guyana Sugar Corporation
- University of Guyana
Government to Citizen Services supported by eGovernment (G2C)