…Chinese technology giant to dofeasibility assessmentThe Government’s US$32 million ICT network will be extended to areas within the coastline, following a feasibility assessment by Chinese technology giant, Huawei.Public Telecommunications Minister Cathy Hughes addressing mediaAccording to Permanent Secretary of the Public Telecommunications Ministry, Floyd Levi the areas identified for expansion include Bartica, Linden, Kwakwani, Port Kaituma, Mabaruma, Annai and Lethem.The announcement of expansion came after a Guyanese delegation headed by Public Telecommunications Minister Catherine Hughes, visited the company in Shanghai, China, to secure the long-term capability of Guyana’s telecommunications networks, and to obtain technical aid and training capacity.In 2010, the Government secured a US$32 million loan from the China Exim Bank to build an E-Government network that was installed along the coastline of Guyana. The existing network consists of a fibre optic system in Georgetown, and a 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network that spans from Skeldon, Berbice to Charity, Essequibo Coast. It provides internet access to schools and government ministries on the coastline.Levi admitted that there are several shortcomings in the layout of the ICT network, particularly the unavailability of the severely damaged fibre optic cable. This cable was expected to have been laid subterraneous along the Linden to Lethem corridor, and should have had the capacity to provide Internet services to all hinterland communities in most administrative regions.“We asked Huawei to consider doing an assessment to expand on our network reach since it is limited to the Coastline and does not offer services to citizens south of Diamond…We don’t get to Bartica, we don’t get to Linden, Timehri, Annai or Lethem.”He said too that they have also asked the company to provide training for Guyana’s ICT engineers and technicians since only four engineers were trained to operate the cable when the network was built.The Permanent Secretary emphasised that once the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is signed in the next two weeks, the assessment will commence immediately. Through the assessment process they would be able to infer which would be the best technological method for the expansion. They are however actively pursuing satellite technology for remote areas since it is evident that it is more practical.Towards this end, the ministry has sent out expressions of interest to local satellite providers who have since accepted their requests to provide estimates for those areas.The ministry is also engaging the Chinese company to build a second data centre technology outside of Georgetown.“…maybe at a location in Kuru Kuru, Linden or Lethem,” he said.Huawei, which is China’s multinational networking and Telecommunications Equipment and Services Company, was the company that constructed the network in Guyana. It is reputed to be the largest telecommunications equipment manufacturer in the world, having overtaken Ericsson in 2012; it also built the national ICT networks in Trinidad and Tobago, the Dominican Republic, Suriname, and Panama.Hughes, on the other hand, stated that Guyana’s problems cannot be solved in a traditional way and it is crucial for the establishment of a strong telecommunications sector:“What is exciting is that with the use of existing technology we have the capacity and also the opportunity to truly connect, transform and innovate.”
Hero Caribbean Premier League 2018…The script of the second playoff in the Hero CPL 2018 tournament would be written tonight at the Providence National Stadium when Jamaica Tallawahs and the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots go head-to-head for a shot at the championship title.The loser of this match will be eliminated, while the winner will face the loser of the first playoff match between Guyana Amazon Warriors and Trinbago Knight Riders.It should be noted that, in recent times, the side bowling first at the Providence Stadium has a higher chance of victory. Therefore, the toss is going to be an important factor to whichever team wins it on Wednesday.In their last game, Jamaica Tallawahs defeated Guyana Amazon Warriors by eight wickets to finish third with 12 points on the CPL 2018 points table. They have won six and lost four of their ten league fixtures.Prior to their encounter against the Warriors, they beat Barbados Tridents by fiveOshane Thomaswickets, before facing a seven-wicket loss to St Kitts and Nevis Patriots in a rain-truncated contest.The Tallawahs have been brilliant with the bat in their last four matches. They have a formidable batting line-up, but the key men are going to be Glenn Phillips, Rovman Powell and Ross Taylor. Phillips is currently third on the list of top run-scorers this CPL, while Powell has a strike-rate of 162 along with three half-centuries to his name. Powell blasted a 40-ball 84 in his last knock against the Patriots, and is coming off a score of 55 not out against the Warriors.Taylor, too, smashed an unbeaten fifty both in that game and in the first reverse encounter earlier in the season.Oshane Thomas and Andre Russell, with 15 and 14 wickets respectively, have been the pick of the bowlers for the Tallawahs, and the onus will be on these two to take wickets and exert pressure on the Patriots. Ish Sodhi and Samuel Badree could also do well here, with the wicket expected to offer some support for the spinners. New Zealand leg-spinner Ish Sodhi has replaced his Australian counterpart Adam Zampa, who has returned home to play domestic cricket.Their opponents, St Kitts and Nevis Patriots, have finished the league stage as the fourth placed team on the points table with five wins and four losses from ten matches. After facing defeats against Guyana Amazon Warriors and Trinbago Knight Riders, and having had a game against St Lucia Stars abandoned, the Patriots bounced back into the tournament with back-to-back wins over Jamaica Tallawahs and Barbados Tridents respectively. In their last match, they narrowly managed to chase the Tridents’ total of 168, to win by two wickets.Patriots will bank on their opening pair of Chris Gayle and Evin Lewis to take themRassie Van der Dussenoff to a brisk start. Gayle has been their leading run-getter this CPL season, and the team will be hoping that he fires for them; along with Lewis, who has had a rather cold season so far.Rassie van der Dussen had scored 45 not out in the most recent encounter against the Tallawahs, and he is another key figure at the top of the order. Ben Cutting, Sheldon Cottrell and Carlos Brathwaite have been the go-to bowlers for the Patriots. Cutting has taken the most wickets for them this season with 10 in 9 matches, and the Australian seamer will be their biggest hope with the ball. Cottrell, too, has bowled well, and it will be crucial that he strikes early in the innings. Tabraiz Shamsi, who claimed the best figures of 2-16 in the last game, can also be effective on this spin-friendly track.Devon Thomas, Carlos Brathwaite and Sheldon Cottrell were all rested for the previous match against Barbados Tridents, and they are likely to return at the expense of Ibrahim Khaleel, Jeremiah Louis and Anton Devcich.The team may also experiment, as they have recently signed Saad Bin Zafar a Canada left-arm-spinning-all-rounder whose economy rate of 6.23 may prove valuable in the game against the Tallawahs. Saad comes in following the Bangladesh all-rounder Mahmudullah’s departure for the Asia Cup in the UAE.SKNP Predicted XI: Chris Gayle (c), Evin Lewis, Rassie Van der Dussen, Saad Bin Zafar, Devon Thomas (WK), Carlos Braithwaite, Fabian Allen, Ben Cutting, Sheldon Cottrell, Alzarri Joseph, Tabraiz Shamsi.JT Predicted XI: Glen Phillips (WK), Johnson Charles, Ross Taylor, Rovman Powell, David Miller, Andre Russell (C), Colin De Grandhomme, Ish Sodhi, Steven Jacobs, Samuel Badree, Oshane Thomas.
Chelsea striker Diego Costa says there has been no contact from Atletico Madrid over a potential return to his old club.The Spaniard has been linked with a move back to his homeland after recent reports suggested he is struggling to adapt to life in England.Chelsea have got off to a stuttering start in the Premier League but Costa was back among the goals on Wednesday as they thrashed Maccabi Tel-Aviv in the Champions League.Speaking after the win over Maccabi, Costa told Spanish radio show Al Primer Toque: “How am I going to return to Atletico if no one has made me an offer?“I scored a good goal [against Maccabi] but we needed to win and that’s what matters.“We know we can give a little more than we are. Each one of us knows that we can do more. We thought things would be better.” Diego Costa 1