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VIA opens solar-powered community centre in South Pacific

Posted: 09 Oct 2006     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:VIA Technologies  solar-powered centre  South Pacific 

VIA Technologies Inc. announced the first ever solar-powered cyber community centre in the South Pacific. Developed with the Samoan ICT Secretariat, the centre is a proof of concept implementation of VIA Solar Computing, a key element of the VIA Clean Computing Initiative to drive environment-conscious computing.

According to VIA, the South Pacific has been largely ignored by global ICT deployment initiatives, and is only now taking the steps needed to build the infrastructure to raise the region's e-readiness. The remote Samoan village of Ulutogia, Aleipata District was selected for its multiple local user communities and, like most of the South Pacific, its abundance of sunshine, making solar the logical source of power.

Accessible to all, the VIA pc-1 Information Community Center in Samoa will help address issues of e-Education, e-Health and e-Governance for local residents, and provide business opportunities for the recipient and surrounding communities, as well as offer Internet access to tourists. Following its successful launch, it is set to act as a working template for similar IT centres around the world to help bridge the digital divide, especially in rural and remote locations. VIA is working with major international organisations and governments to facilitate further such deployments.

"We were delighted to collaborate with VIA on the Center, which provides a practical computing solution for remote areas of Samoa and beyond," said Gisa Fuatai Purcell, Samoan ICT Secretariat Manager. "VIA has the capacity and committed staff to provide solar powered computers, a big step towards reducing poverty." Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Soliai Sailele Malielegaoi echoed the sentiment, saying that: "For our next ten infocenters, I want the VIA solar powered computers, monitors, etc. I want anything solar as we have so much sun here in Samoa."

According to VIA, the centre addressed the largest obstacles facing ICT access in the developing world such as design of appropriate technologies; reliable power supplies; Internet access; sustainability through proper training and business opportunities; and closing the gap that exists between the different sectors working towards solving the digital divide dilemma, specifically private, public, civil society, academic and international organisation.

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