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High cost hinders Internet access

The high Internet connectivity cost is a major impediment to the growth of the ICT industry. The cost of Internet facilities should be reduced so that many would have easy access to it instead of a few. The ICT industry could develop only if the number of those who have access to IT increases.

Science and Technology Minister Prof. Tissa Vitharana addressing the Mega IT exhibition 'Infotel Lanka 2006' at the BMICH recently said the ICT industry is not at its best, compared to some countries in the region who have made great strides. The industry needs to progress faster and keep pace with global trends.

Prof. Vitharana said IT and Internet facilities are confined to the affluent class in the business sectors. The rural community is not exposed to IT and many still have not seen a computer. There should be a reduction in the cost of computers so that the number of users would increase.

The country could prosper only if its citizens develop their knowledge.

The 'Nanasala' Program initiated by President Mahinda Rajapaksa has contributed immensely to the development of the ICT industry. Through the program the number of rural youth browsing the Internet has increased.

The ICT industry has not tapped its fullest potential. Experts in all key sectors including health, education and engineering should share their knowledge for the growth of the industry, Prof. Vitharana said.

Infotel which has promoted and developed its standard since 1992 is a boost to the development of the ICT industry. Exhibitions of this nature will be a good exposure to the IT world making it user-friendly. It will help industrialists to be more industrial.

Information Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) Chairman, Prof. V. K. Samaranayake said the national ICT Week declared by President Rajapaksa is an indication of his government's commitment to the progress of the industry. The ICT week will be an useful exposure to all IT enthusiasts of the marvels of information and technology.

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