Brown’s Town and Windsor communities in Jamaica’s St Ann parish have just seen the launch of free public Wi-Fi under the Universal Service Fund (USF) Community Wi-Fi Initiative.
The secure Internet connectivity has a range of 800-feet and can allow up to 200 residents to simultaneously log on with their smartphones or tablet devices.
The installation of the community Wi-Fi is part of USF’s mandate to increase the country’s access to information and communication tools to facilitate development, as well as increase the use of ICT devices across the country.
In his address, USF’s Chief Executive Officer, Daniel Dawes, said Steer Town is next in line for community Wi-Fi. Additionally, he indicated that the entity is also prepared to install public access Wi-Fi hotspots that can accommodate up to 500 individuals at any one time, in both Brown’s Town and St Ann’s Bay. This means Brown’s Town will be getting another hotspot.
Dawes said: “So, you must understand that Government is not here because you like Government. The Government is here to work for the people because people come first and foremost.” A resident of Windsor, Hopeton McKenzie, said the community Wi-Fi is already of great benefit to his son, who freely accesses the reliable and convenient Internet service.
“Before, we didn't have any Internet and I used to put on data plans and stuff like that.” McKenzie said. “Now, I really appreciate it. I'm really glad for it and many other people in the community are glad to see it same way.”
“You have the kids them crowd up around here so and all of them enjoy it and use it with them tablet and thing, as well as other people,” he added.
Brown’s Town resident, Churline Robinson, said the installation of the community Wi-Fi will be beneficial to the children in the town, as many households cannot afford the utility. She lauded USF and the Government on the initiative that is improving Internet access in St Ann.
She commented: “Well, I have to tell them thank you very much for everything and what they are doing for Brown’s Town.”