(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) In an effort to make high-speed Internet services accessible to everyone and reach every nook and corner of the country, The Research Council and Oman Broadband Company (OBC) have come together to launch the Oman Broadband Competition 2014.
The aim of the competition is to encourage people including school-going children to innovate and develop solutions for telecom and information technology sectors using the broadband technology. Speaking to Muscat Daily, Dr Zahra al Rawahi, director, Building Innovative Capabilities, TRC, said that the competition is open to citizens and expatriates.
''The idea is to encourage people to come up with solutions for everyday issues facing us regarding the uptake of broadband. For example, Internet speed might not be reliable at times and then there are rural and remote areas where accessibility is an issue. We want anyone with a good idea to come forward and help in sustainable development of the telecom sector that will lead to overall social and economic benefits,'' she said.
The competition has an open category, one for students of higher colleges and jobseekers and one for school students. ''We have included schoolchildren although their proposals might not be as mature as those coming from college graduates. Nonetheless, we wantto encourage them to think and innovate,'' Dr Zahra said.
She added that submitted projects will be evaluated by a team of experts from TRC, OBC, Telecom Regulatory Authority, Information Technology Authority and an academic institution with which TRC is currently in talks with.
''The proposal will be judged for its novelty and innovation and its ability to be implemented in real world situations. It will also be seen to what extent a project is able to serve the country's economic and social development.
Individual and group (two to five persons) entries are allowed, with the prize money of RO2,000 to RO200. Winner of the open category will get RO2,000, the first runner-up will be awarded RO1,500 and the third-placed will receive RO1,000. The top prize money in the one for students of higher colleges and jobseekers is RO1,000.
The second and third prizes are RO750 and RO500 respectively. The school category top winner will get RO500, followed by RO300 and RO200 for the second and third positions respectively.
Entries can be submitted to TRC between October 16 and 23.
Shortlisted candidates will be called on November 30 to make a presentation and discuss their ideas further with judges. Results will be declared on December 16 and the awards ceremony will take place on January 1, 2015.