By: Sunday Shekwonya
The Gigabit Libraries Network in partnership with the African Library and Information Associations and Institutions (AfLIA) have donated SpaceX’s Starlink Low Earth Orbit (LEO) Satellite Broadband System to the FCT Education Resource Centre (ERC).
The donation of the Satellite Broadband system is to facilitate access to internet services and improve the library patrons’ experience within the libraries and its surrounding in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
Presenting the items to the Permanent Secretary, FCT Administration, Olusade Adesola, in his office, FCTA Secretariat, Area 11 Garki I District, Abuja, the Director, Education Resource Centre (ERC), and a Governing Council member of AfLIA, Neemat Daud Abdulrahim, said the donation will enable the internet services to be stable and increased in speed for enhanced services to customers.
The Director disclosed that the Abuja City Library is among the first libraries to have such an internet connection in the whole of Nigeria; noting that the development was made possible by Gilgabit Libraries Network to aid access to stable and full internet within the library vicinity.
Abdulrahim noted that five pilot projects for the libraries have been set up in Abuja and Lagos.
According to her, these libraries will receive free internet services for 24 months which is equivalent to 2 years; adding that it will assist to provide better internet services for the users.
She explained that LEO Satellites Orbit the earth at 111 through 1,242 miles and is deployed in clusters that work together to provide speedy and stable internet coverage for the wider library community.
She said the libraries were chosen because they are already institutional members of AfLIA with well-equipped staff, who have undergone several training on innovative services in 21st-century African libraries.
The Director said it is expected that the presence of free, fast, and stable Internet from Starlink in these libraries will enable them to provide information services that will aid their user communities to gain in-depth digital skills, participate in Online lessons and also gain knowledge via Global Online services.
Responding on behalf of the FCT Administration, the Permanent Secretary, Olusade Adesola, commended the ERC for attracting such a donation for the Administration.
The Permanent Secretary said that he has no doubt that the facilities will boost internet services within the city libraries across the Territory and enhance the knowledge base of the FCT residents.
While also commending the donor for their interest in the FCT, he assured that the facilities will be put to judicious use for the overall benefit of the residents of Abuja.
Adesola, therefore, urged other corporate bodies to emulate the group in providing critical services for the residents.