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Potraz enhances ICT access

The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (Potraz) has established at least 84 community information centres countrywide as the authority moves to take information and communication technology (ICT) services to communities.

By XOLISANI NCUBE

Potraz director general Gift Machengete told journalists during a tour of the facility in Chinhoyi yesterday that through the Universal Service Fund (USF), 84 post offices had been turned into community information centres where 8 100 people had been trained in ICT services. He said more than 20 mobile units were set to be introduced to enable an enlarged ICT reach.

“This is part of our mandate as Potraz to ensure we take ICT to the people. The idea is to ensure universal access to ICT and we are doing this by training our people in three phases,” Machengete said.

“It depends on the level of one’s education and the need of the skills. We have some who use the skills just to learn how to use computers. Others would want more and advanced services. So, basically we are turning every post office into information centres so that people can surf, send emails and so on and so forth.”

Potraz said the training was free but people had to pay a nominal fee to access other ICT services.

Potraz finance director Biggie Chiparanhura said in the past two years, telecoms companies had contributed at least $13 million to the USF and part of the money had been used to fund the revitalisation of the postal and courier services sector.

Part of USF, according to Potraz, is used to set up telecommunications infrastructure in areas that are considered economically unviable by commercial entities.

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