Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT), the national telecommunications service provider, is proud to be the ICT Solutions Provider for the 2013 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) to be held in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The entire SLT team considers it a privilege to have been chosen the total telecommunications service provider to this prestigious highest-level meeting of the Commonwealth of Nations. Sri Lanka believes this meeting will prove to be fruitful and very influential in setting the agenda for achieving development goals and prosperity of Commonwealth countries with a focus on the key strategic areas of macro level socio-economic issues, strengthening macroeconomic development opportunities, improving education systems to close the gap between more and less advantaged groups, promoting gender equality, peace-building, political stability, multi lateral trade matters, human rights, international peace and security, environmental issues, health and all other aspects of global concern. SLT will be connecting multiple geographic locations across the country through its cutting-edge “SLT Intelligent Solutions”, which is a fully integrated business communication solution that provides virtual private network connectivity, internet data centre facility, local area networks, dedicated business internet through leased lines with symmetric bandwidth, ethernet connectivity, fixed broadband services, high speed Wi-Fi access, telephone and fax services, ICT equipment and optical fibre connectivity to CHOGM event venues. The specially designed Wi-Fi access network, which is backhauled by a high speed, reliable and resilient optical fibre ring architecture will ensure high availability of services is the largest ever Wi-Fi deployment in Sri Lanka with a capability of facilitating 2,500 concurrent users. During the CHOGM, SLT will be providing its comprehensive communication solutions to multiple geographic locations where key forums of the CHOGM such as the CHOGM Opening Ceremony, Main Conference, Heads of Government Retreat and Secretariat Functions, Business Forum, Youth Forum, People’s Forum and Media Centre (Media Centre at BMICH for 1000 + local and foreign media professionals) will be hosted. The Group CEO of Sri Lanka Telecom, Lalith De Silva expressing his views said, “We are really proud to partner the CHOGM as the ICT Solution provider of this prestigious international summit which is being hosted in Asia for the first time in 24 years. Today the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry of Sri Lanka has become one of the most powerful influences that can have a veritable positive impact on the macroeconomic environment, the quality of human life, interaction and development efforts both locally and internationally. We see the opportunities for our country to benefit by hosting the CHOGM forum in Sri Lanka and we are fully equipped as well as committed to serve the multiple forums that will be held in multiple geographic locations with the highest quality of service and reliability provided by the SLT Intelligent Solutions product portfolio.” Sri Lanka looks forward to receiving applications from local and international media professionals for accreditation to cover the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) 2013 in November. “The Government of Sri Lanka, as host of CHOGM 2013, invites and welcomes all journalists to Sri Lanka to cover this very important summit. SLT will be at the forefront to provide communication solutions to all the media professionals at the CHOGM Media Centre. SLT also believes that this will be an excellent opportunity for our country to showcase the prevalent peaceful environment and enable international journalists to witness firsthand the developments that are currently taking place.” Mr De Silva added further. Investors visiting the country during the period will see Sri Lanka as an ideal location for investments because the country possesses the most advanced and sophisticated communication backbone services throughout the island. Sri Lanka, as the host country of CHOGM also has the opportunity to increase the number of tourist arrivals and promote the tourism industry by enabling state-of-the-art communication solutions to the growing tourism industry. Chief Enterprise & Wholesale Officer of SLT, Kiththi Perera said "The development of Sri Lanka’s ICT infrastructure would go a long way in developing a closer relationship with large enterprises and small to medium sized businesses, which form a vital part of economic development. We assure CHOGM 2103 our utmost commitment to always provide the highest quality and most reliable services and we aim to enhance our offerings through SLT Intelligent Solutions portfolio for the entire business segments in the country, to help companies achieve higher productivity and operational efficiency". Sri Lanka’s IT/BPO industry has been one of the most dynamic and competitive industries over the last few years and today it has been recognised as one of the top 5 revenue earners within the services export area of the country. Further, the Government’s economic policy paper “Road Map 2013” states that Sri Lanka can reach the goal of becoming a billion-dollar industry in the IT and BPO sector by 2016. Powered by SLT’s infrastructure solutions, this sector is set to achieve unprecedented growth as a high value added industry that creates jobs and opportunities for our youth. SLT was awarded with the license to operate as the National Backbone Network (NBN) Service Provider in the country. Commenting on NBN, Mr De Silva said, “The Company is fully committed to achieving the ultimate objective of NBN in facilitating broadband connectivity across the entire country supporting all future investors and growing businesses. In line with our country’s ICT development plans, SLT is on the fast track to cover all the 329 Divisional Secretariats and 24 districts in the country with high speed broadband connectivity over the NBN. Also the company’s global coverage has been significantly strengthened with multiple optical fibre submarine links: SEA-ME-WE 3, SEA-ME-WE 4, Bharat-Lanka (between India and Sri Lanka) and Dhiraagu-SLT (between the Maldives islands and Sri Lanka). Also SLT has been selected as a full landing point for the upcoming International submarine cable project and this large investment will be another milestone for Sri Lanka.” A recent ITU report also refers to Sri Lanka as having a ‘very dynamic broadband market’. Global mentions such as these are quite significant and are signs that we are surely working towards bridging the digital divide in the country. It is very exciting to be a part of the development of the broadband industry in Sri Lanka and SLT assures that it will continue to keep working towards transforming the ICT landscape of the country.