Alcatel joins with ATD Quart Monde and Data Telecom Service to offer high speed Internet access to disadvantaged people in Madagascar
Paris, September 28, 2006 - Alcatel (Paris: CGEP.PA and NYSE: ALA) today announced that it has signed an agreement with ATD Quart Monde, a non-governmental organization set up to fight world poverty, and Data Telecom Service, an Internet service provider and telecommunications operator in Madagascar, to supply broadband Internet access to the deprived people of Antananarivo.
This agreement will include:
- Establishing IT discovery and training programs for young people (16-25 years old) in very disadvantaged areas. The first twenty young people will be trained, then take on the task of sharing their knowledge with other young people,
- Creating a craft cooperative with adults producing products for the home market (peanut oil, wooden furniture, etc.) and using the Internet to sell embroidery work and woven cloth to export markets. The objective, after two years, is to offer jobs to 50 or so craftsmen and women that will provide a living for some 300 people.
The three partners will have complementary roles to ensure that this agreement succeeds:
- Alcatel is committed to providing the telecommunications equipment free of charge (a WiMAX station and associated terminals), and will help to set up and run the project,
- ATD Quart Monde will provide the help of people competent in using the broadband Internet access provided as part of the project, at the five chosen sites in Antananarivo,
- DTS will shoulder all the connection costs for two years for the five sites and will help the craft cooperative to create its web site.
Xavier Godinot, director of the ATD Quart Monde International Movement Research Institute, says: “This agreement is one step in a long march that began in both France and Madagascar. It involves meeting the needs of the most disadvantaged people with whom we have been working since 1989 in Antananarivo, by opening up new training possibilities for the young and access to jobs for adults. To do this, we have to get companies, NGOs and Government Authorities to work together in pilot projects aimed at eradicating poverty by promoting the human rights, in the spirit of the Global Compact launched by the UN in 2000”.
“To bridge the gap between the scarcity of technical resources and integration into the Internet world is the challenge we have taken up by signing this agreement. Offering a future and opening a door to the world are among the prime motivations of our company. By involving ourselves in this project, we are again demonstrating our commitment to Malagasy society. Access to the world of communications for the most deprived is a priority and an integral part of the DTS enterprise culture. This action will strengthen links with the local population and will extend its educational role”, says Patrick Pisal Hamida, Chief Executive Officer of DTS.
Thierry Albrand, Alcatel’s Digital Bridge manager says: “This project with our partners, ATD Quart Monde and DTS, dovetails perfectly with Alcatel’s commitment to reduce the digital divide in the poorly served regions, since it will give the very disadvantaged people of Antananarivo broadband access to the Internet. Access to these services is essential to economic and social development”.
Click here for more information about Alcatel’s Digital Bridge Initiative: www.alcatel.com/sustainable/DigitalBridge/index.htm
About ATD Quart Monde
Set up with people living in the depths of poverty, the ATD Quart Monde International Movement is a non-governmental organization working in thirty countries that has people located in more than 100 countries. With no political or religious affiliation, it pushes public opinion and government authorities to act against the causes of deprivation and social exclusion by taking very disadvantaged people as guides and partners.
For more information: http://www.atd-quartmonde.org
About Data Telecom Service
Formed in 1995, DTS is Madagascar’s leading Internet service provider and also a value-added telecoms operator which offers a comprehensive portfolio of products and services suited to the needs of individuals and enterprises. Through this company, its unique expertise and its competences that have been honed by more than ten years’ experience, the Internet has become one of Madagascar’s main engines of growth, with an optimum connection quality, over all types of media and with speeds never before achieved. For more information, see what we have to offer on the portal: http://www.wanadoo.mg
Alcatel supplies communication solutions providing telecoms operators, Internet service providers and companies with voice, data and video communication resources for their customers or employees. With leading positions in broadband fixed and mobile networks and in applications and services, Alcatel’s customers and partners can place the end-user at the heart of the broadband world. With sales of 13.1 billion euros and 58 000 employees in 2005, Alcatel operates in more than 130 countries. For more information, visit the website: http://www.alcatel.com
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