The Information Technology Authority (ITA) continues to implement Phase II of the National PC Initiative, distributing free laptops as part of the NPC bundle package, which comprises PC and internet offers, in addition to computer literacy training to social insurance beneficiaries in various wilayats of the Sultanate. Aiming to enable different segments of society to use computers and internet in the Sultanate, it also includes a subsidization of the cost of a personal computer, for students of higher education enrolled in the first year of study in the Sultanate, in addition to teachers who are graduates of the Government IT Training & Certification (GITTC) project.
For the past three months, the NPC distribution supervisory teams visited various Governorates throughout the Sultanate to oversee the distribution process. More than 2,980 PCs plus bundle packages have been distributed to social insurance families since the beginning of Phase II. This is in addition to the 12,484 PCs distributed to the same category during Phase I. Hence, the number of PCs distributed to social insurance families during the two phases to date has totaled 15,464 PCs.
With regard to social beneficiary recipient students enrolled in the first year of higher education study, the initiative has so far supported 29,342 students to obtain free laptops along with their bundle package. The initiative supported 15,987 students during Phase I and, 13,355 students during the second phase thus far.
The number of higher education students who were granted free laptops along with their bundle package has reached almost 10,896 students, including 8,455 students during the first phase and 2,441 students during the second phase, so far.
The NPC initiative has furthermore supported 2,285 teachers, who have graduated from the Government IT Training & Certification (GITTC) Project to obtain free laptops during the first Phase, and supported 2,110 teachers during the second Phase. Hence, a total of 4,395 teachers have benefited from this Initiative to date.
To date, more than 60,000 PCs have been distributed and more than 48,000 modems/internet lines have been activated thanks to the NPC Initiative.
Modem and internet
The Oman Telecommunications Company (Omantel) offer to the social insurance families and students targeted by Phase II of the NPC initiative in which Omantel takes part alongside ITA as a communications sponsor, includes a special offer for those in the social insurance category (e.g. beneficiary families and higher education students). With this offer recipients may select the 3.5G package or the ADSL package. A second internet package includes an offer for the category of teachers and higher education students, whereby the beneficiary may select the 3.5G package or the ADSL package, with a different use rate in comparison with the first category.
Beneficiaries may obtain this offer through the selected Omantel points of distribution spread across the different regions of the Sultanate. During a successful Phase I of the Initiative, more than 36,000 people benefited from Omantel offers.
The teams assigned by ITA to supervise the distribution of PCs will continue to visit the rest of the regions of the Sultanate to distribute PCs and will continue to do so with a view to achieving the objectives of this Initiative which aim to: enhance citizens’ capabilities and skills in dealing with modern technologies; contribute to increasing the of number of PC and internet users among members of the Omani society; encourage them to use digital means of communication, obtain information and services online and keep pace with all new developments.