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Jordanian ICT leaders launch PC penetration drive

Jordan: Thursday, September 16 - 2004 @ 10:55

“This important initiative aims to widen the penetration of personal computers in Jordan by reducing the barriers for people to own a PC. We’re obviously hoping this brings computer ownership within reach of people across the country for the first time,” said Jordanian Minister of Information and Communications Technology, Dr. Fawaz H. Zu’bi. “We’re delighted to work with Jordan Telecom, Intel and int@j to make this initiative a reality.”

The initiative aims to make an Internet connected personal computer affordable to most households in Jordan and play a role in reducing the ‘digital divide’, the disempowerment of people who cannot afford to buy the equipment needed for Internet access.

The first bundle to be rolled out under the scheme will combine a computer and an ADSL high speed Internet line from Jordan Telecom, which has set a target monthly price for the system together with unlimited high speed Internet access. The computer would be repaid over a period of 36 months. Further bundles are expected to follow.

“Inspired by His Majesty King Abdullah II’s strong efforts to help citizens improve their standards of living, the initiative aims to make investing in technology affordable. Jordan Telecom has a clear commitment to driving Internet penetration in Jordan as we go forwards. We believe that this scheme will have a major impact in bringing computer technology within reach for everyone with a telephone in Jordan today.” said Laurent Mialet, CEO of Jordan Telecom.

The initiative brings together the technical capabilities of Intel with the marketing, logistics and delivery platforms of Jordan Telecom and combines these with the Ministry of ICT’s liaison with government departments and entities in order to provide a high-value system at affordable prices. The three organisations have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to drive the project together by combining their resources and efforts. The scheme is to be underwritten by loan guarantees, banks and the government.

Karim Fahmy, Intel’s general manager for the Levant, Egypt and North Africa region, said: “At Intel, we support initiatives that allow as many people as possible to get access to PCs and the Internet in order to develop their technology skills and be part of the growth process in their country. This is especially true in Jordan, where the leadership has a clear mandate to increase the country’s competitiveness through ICT.”

The framework MoU provides for the defined roles of the three partners in the initiative, which is backed by Jordan’s technology association, int@j. By aggregating the supply of machines through a single source and with the support of the MoICT in government relations and also Intel through its ICT industry partnerships, the three partners have been able to significantly reduce the cost to users of the machine, helping to make it more affordable.

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Thursday, September 16- 2004 @ 10:55 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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