Above: An AMPLIA technician at work. Photos courtesy TSTT.
As part of the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic, AMPLIA Communications Limited (AMPLIA) has provided free high speed internet and cable TV to the Trinidad and Tobago National Racquet Centre in Tacarigua. The fifty-bed facility, which is being used as a quarantine site, currently houses the group of 33 nationals who returned from Barbados on April 21st.
AMPLIA’s fibre optic cable is being used to deliver the free 120 MB internet service and cable TV to the National Racquet Centre, and the company has also donated two televisions, each with AMPLIA’s HD TV ‘Watch More Cable TV’ package with 149 TV and radio channels, and a WiFi router.
The TV service is installed in the two separate common areas within the facility being used by the patients and the clinical and support staff, and Wi-Fi is available throughout. This service will remain at the National Racquet Centre for at least two months to be used by other COVID-19 patients who are at different stages of their continuum of care.
General Manager of AMPLIA , Lisa Agard, stated that they received the request on April 16 and were able to deliver on the services within one day, by April 17, because AMPLIA already has fibre in the Tacarigua area. AMPLIA, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT), facilitated a rapid response.
Agard explained that AMPLIA has aggressively rolled out fibre in several areas across Trinidad and Tobago, including Tacarigua. “When the request for internet and cable TV was brought to our attention, we embraced the opportunity to be a part of the national COVID-19 response. We did a survey around 7pm on April 16 to determine which services were needed.”
“The outside plant team collected their equipment at 8am the next morning and completed the required cable work for the building by 12 noon. Then, our installation team did the internal wiring, installation and testing for the Wi-Fi and cable TV. Everything was completed by 8pm on April 17. Different functional areas came together to make this happen very quickly.”
“I am very proud of our team at AMPLIA. We do this every day for hundreds of nationals throughout Trinidad and Tobago and it was an honour and a joy to be able to do this also for the persons who are housed at the National Racquet Sports Centre. We understand that it can be challenging to be away from family and friends for an extended period and we are happy to do our part to try to make their stay at the National Racquet Sports Centre as comfortable as possible.” said Agard.
AMPLIA’s contribution is a part of a larger commitment by its parent company, TSTT, to contribute to the national emergency and disaster response including flood and hurricane relief. With respect to the COVID-19 pandemic response, TSTT has been in the forefront providing national support through free packages on the phones of over 100 frontline doctors and nurses, the hosting of a virtual video conference meeting between Ministry of Health staff and COVID-19 experts in China and the provision of free or zero-data access to the University of the West Indies and other educational websites.
“TSTT is a key partner and critical stakeholder in our national COVID-19 response and we are extremely happy with the tremendous support we received. The patients and staff are very grateful for the free internet and cable TV,” said Stewart Smith, Senior Health System Advisor at the Ministry of Health.