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Internet for villages project wins ITU recognition

30 May 2021

Afaq among top five winning projects in ITU’s WSIS competition

Oman’s Afaq programme, which aims to cover remote villages and rural communities with Internet through satellite, has been ranked among the top five projects in the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Prizes 2021. 

According to the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), Oman has earned global recognition for providing Internet service via satellite to rural communities.

The WSIS Prizes is a global competition hosted by International Telecommunications Union (ITU) that was created to provide a forum for recognising programmes and events that use information and communication technology to promote sustainable growth.

Afaq’s aim is to cover villages and rural communities that have not been reached by any Internet services, via satellite Internet services. 

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the urgency for Internet services to reach remote corners of the sultanate has been of immediate concern. Following an agreement between TRA and Oman Broadband Company, the authority carried out field surveys to identify villages and communities that did not have any kind of Internet services. 

All requests received by TRA were studied and notes from their the governors, members of Shura Council and citizens were taken into account to prepare a list of 598 villages to connect via Internet. These villages include 141 public schools that now have Internet services.

 

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