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January 04, 2012

Service Agreements between Gilat and Colombian Ministry of Information Technology and Communications Extended By Additional Nine Months
By Calvin Azuri
TMCnet Contributor

Gilat Satellite Networks (News - Alert) Ltd., a global provider of products and professional services for satellite-based broadband communications networks, announced that its Social Telecommunications Program agreements with the Colombian Ministry of Information Technology and Communications, via the "Fondo de Tecnologías de la Información y las Communicaciones", has been extended by an additional nine months with a new end date of 30 September, 2012.

Under the terms of the Social Telecommunications Program agreement, the company offers its services for the twin projects of Rural Communitarian Telephony (TRC I and TRC II) and Telecentros (TLC 3). The newly extended service agreement currently has an estimated value of $16 million. 

The Compartel service agreements support those projects which have been set up for the delivery of telephony and Internet access across Columbia's remote communities. Under the present extension plan, an estimated 1,800 sites with a residing population of more than 4 million that have either very limited or no access to the very basic telecommunication service will be provided with telephone and Internet services.

The sites under the projects include telephony centers, community Internet access telecenters, or CACI (Centro Acceso Comunitario a Internet) sites as they are known locally, as well as larger telecenters. Gilat has outfitted these telecenters and CACI sites with computers, printers, scanners, faxes, as well as webcams. Telephony services are provided to the telecenters and most of the CACI sites.

In a release, Danny Fridman, CEO Gilat Colombia and Gilat Peru, said, "This latest extension represents a strong vote of confidence in Gilat, and we are honored to be able to play a key role in the Colombian Government's goal to ensure that Colombian citizens are connected and informed, especially those residing in the most remote regions of the country.”

Gilat's announcement about the new extension of the service agreements is preceded by an announcement made by the company about its selection for the delivery of broadband Internet connectivity to over 1,600 schools in remote and rural locations by the Colombian Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication (MINTIC). This project which is being hosted by Compartel as well has an estimated value of around $18.5 million.

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Calvin Azuri is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Calvin’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves


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