Written by Tharushan Fernando
11 Feb, 2017 | 7:56 pm
ICT experts are oppossing attempts to give away local frequencies to foreign companies under the guise of new technological projects.
Google’s Project Loon was said to provide high speed internet connectivity at a low cost, covering the entire country.The project was aimed at creating 10,000 Wi-Fi Zones in the country with 13 Loon Balloons hovering above the country.
This project was spearheaded by Muhunthan Canagey. the Chief Executive Officer of the Information and Communication Technology Agency or ICTA.However, on February 17 2016 – first ever Loon Balloon that was sent up in Sri Lanka crashed into Gampola.
Later, it was revealed that this project was infact being done by the Rama Corporation.
It is a locally partnered corporation, with a foreign company being the majority share-holder.However, experts in the field claim that the Rama Corporation being permitted to carry on with the Google Loon Project has created many complications.
The Voice Against Corruption charged that the transaction that is taking place behind handing over of frequencies to the Rama Corporation has raised suspicions
A major project is being carried out to sell the frequencies of the country while showing 25% ownership is vested with the government and this will lead to a loss of national wealth amounting to billions, according to the Voice Against Corruption
“At a time when the information technology sector is developing in the country, if we sell out these frequencies the national wealth will be reduced, not in small amounts, but in billions”, charged the Convenor for Voice Against Corruption, Wasantha Samarasinghe.
He pointed out that the ownership of the frequency that is used for broadcasting, be it television or radio, lies with that particular company and after this move, the company in question will decide whether the frequencies should be sold or not which will even cause issues that may threaten national security
The Voice Against Corruption revealed that information has come to light that the ICT company in question has signed a MoU.
Lawyers of the Voice against Corruption has compiled a document to ask for information with regard to this project under the Right to Information Act.
“The biggest question we have is who is in the board of directors at this RAMA corporation? What is this talk of the 25% ownership? What is the loss of national wealth that would be caused after selling the frequencies to such a company? The Voice Against Corruption is vigilant of this matter. We will collect information with regard to this in the future. We want to identify who it is that is going to get benefits from these balloons that never went up. We can identify this project as a project that will allow private companies to benefit from the national wealth of our country.”
Are domestic frequencies that an important resource to the nation being given away to international companies under the guise of the claims that low cost high speed internet connectivity will be provided to all ?
Muhunthan Canagey, the Chief Executive Officer of the Information and Communication Technology Agency is behind the failed Google Loon Project , therefore how does this project benefit him ?
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