The community of Newlands in Portmore, St. Catherine, has become the first in the area to get free wi-fi under the Universal Service Fund (USF) initiative to increase internet service in various communities.
Speaking at the launch, Member of Parliament for St. Catherine East Central Hon. Alando Terrelonge, welcomed the $7 million facility as a great tool to further the development of the community, especially, education and business.
“Internet is a universal human right that our children must have, that our communities must have, that all our Jamaicans must have access to, because it is now power; and the pandemic has shown that if children don’t have access, we are going to leave them in the dark ages,” Mr. Terrelonge told his audience.
While arguing that it is one of the best investments in the constituency, the MP said the system will “foster education, commerce, and development, and we can live in the future, today,” he said.
Principal of the Newlands Basic School Angela Dawes, said some children in the area are from homes without internet, and students from the early childhood to tertiary level will benefit from the service. Businesses in the community will also benefit, as “they will be able to advertise their business.
“The Newlands community is extremely grateful for this internet service, during, and even after the pandemic,” she said.
Youth leader in the area Claudine Duncan, told the ceremony that the wi-fi facility is an “opportunity to eliminate glitches with online schooling, and we are grateful for such a privilege,” she said.
Youth leader of the Newlands community of Portmore, St. Catherine, Claudine Duncan, addresses the launch of a free wi-fi hotspot for the Portmore community, in St. Catherine, recently. Photo: contributed
Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer of the USF Daniel Dawes, said over 189 communities across the island will get free wi-fi, and it is a “facility to be used for educational purposes, research and business purposes, and I beg of you to report to the USF any issues affecting it,” Mr. Dawes told his audience.
The USF is an agency of the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology.
WRITTEN BY: GARFIELD L. ANGUS
SOURCE: JIS news