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Telecommunications firm LIME Jamaica has launched a low-cost laptop, available for customers who sign up for its Internet service, as part of its drive to increase Internet penetration in the island.
Dubbed the 'FLIPtop', the computer provides consumers with the features and utility of more expensive devices for $14,999. The device will be available to new customers who take out a two-year residential Internet service package with the firm.
In a release yesterday, LIME said recent survey findings from the Mona School of Business at the University Of the West Indies have confirmed that consumers continually cite the high cost of computers and other access devices as the main barrier to Internet access.
"When we considered that what often blocks access to the Internet for consumers is the affordability of the access device, we decided to help to remove this barrier and give more people a chance to get online," said LIME Jamaica's Managing Director, Garry Sinclair.
"Internet access is now essential for several aspects of everyday life, especially education, entertainment, business and recreation, and we believe every home in Jamaica should have Internet service," he added.
In time for back-to-school
Sinclair also said his company was especially pleased that the FLIPtop offer was available in time for back-to-school preparations, providing parents with affordable learning technology for their children.
"Every child in school in 2011, irrespective of background, should have Internet access because it gives them a gateway to unlimited educational resources which can help improve their overall academic performance. We are aware that prior to this, many parents were unable to afford a computer, but with this new offer a computer has just become a lot more affordable so parents can get Internet for their children," he said.
For people needing financial assistance to purchase a 'FLIPtop', LIME says it has partnered with Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS) to make loans available under favourable conditions. JNBS will provide financing through its Term Share Loan, which allows account holders the option of borrowing a portion of the funds held in their savings account while still earning interest on their savings.
New customers who sign up for a two-year Internet package from LIME can then buy the new ultra-thin, Wi-Fi-enabled FLIPtop. The laptop has a 160GB hard drive, 1GB Ram, a 1.3 megapixel, Skype-ready camera and comes with the Windows 7 OS.