The "Pilot Scheme on District Cyber Centres (DCC)" was officially launched today (February 22). Through providing computing facilities, Internet connectivity, training and technical support, it aims to help young people from low-income families and other needy members of the community to access and use information and communications technology (ICT) and online services, thereby integrating them into the information society.
The Hong Kong Cyberport Management Company Limited, the Hong Kong Council of Social Service and the Internet Professional Association has formed the DCC Alliance to jointly implement the pilot scheme. They will jointly enhance the capacity of district-based cyber centres, both existing and new ones, that join the scheme. Through strengthening the branding, co-ordination and support network of the participating centres, it is expected that more effective and quality services will be provided.
At the initial stage, the scheme will support 14 centres equipped with a total of about 250 computers and related facilities, and training programmes to serve different needy communities including youth, the elderly and women. A Laptop Library will be established, with about 250 laptop computers at the initial stage, for loan to the public.
Addressing the opening ceremony of the pilot scheme, the Financial Secretary, Mr John C Tsang said, "The DCC Alliance will help form a focal point of financial donation, technology and expert knowledge, rendering more sustainable sponsorship and support to social service organisations and district cyber centres. This will provide more effective and better quality services to those in need."
Mr Tsang encouraged the alliance to perfect its operation and services to attract more centres to join at a later stage.
Mr Tsang noted that according to statistics released in 2008, nearly 75% of households in Hong Kong had personal computers at home while 95% of them also had Internet access. This proves that the overall community in Hong Kong has reached an encouraging level in the use of ICT. However, the same survey revealed that only 37% of families with monthly household income less than HK$10,000 had personal computers at home, reflecting that there is room for improvement in ICT usage in some community groups.
For the implementation of the initial phase of the DCC pilot scheme, the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer has sponsored $4.7 million while the alliance has secured commercial sponsorship of a similar amount of some $4.7 million in cash and in kind including technical support, hardware and software, and volunteer service. Districts covered under the initial phase of the pilot scheme will include Sha Tin, Tai Po, Yuen Long, Yau Tsim Mong, Sham Shui Po, North, Islands, Eastern, Kwun Tong, Wong Tai Sin and Wan Chai.
For details, please visit the website of the DCC Alliance at (www.dcca.hk/).
Ends/Sunday, February 22, 2009
Issued at HKT 15:04