Steer Town, Edgehill equipped with free Wi-Fi
ST ANN, Jamaica— Residents of Steer Town and Edgehill in St Ann now have access to free, secure, high-speed Internet as the Government continues to equip communities to move into the digital age.
Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth & Job Creation (MEGJC), Senator Matthew Samuda, joined the Universal Service Fund (USF) team in officially unveiling the service in the communities on Tuesday.
The secure Internet connectivity allows up to 200 residents to simultaneously log on with their smartphone, tablet or other device.
The service was provided under the USF’s Community Wi-Fi programme, which is designed to increase internet access to unserved, under-served and rural communities to facilitate greater digital inclusion.
Speaking at the launch ceremony in Steer Town, Minister Samuda emphasised the transformative potential of the Internet, and the Government’s long-term commitment to improving the lives of residents, particularly children, in communities across Jamaica.
He noted that the service will create a more connected and empowered citizenry, aid in uplifting youngsters and prepare them for challenges and opportunities.
“Technology is a tool… to make sure you can stand up as young men and women to your [global] counterparts. Ultimately, the work that the USF has done is incredibly important. It builds a foundation for you to be competitive. In the 21st century, the Internet is as important as electricity and water. It is a basis of communication; it is the basis for your education,” Samuda pointed out.
Principal of Steer Town Academy, Omar Mongal, lauded the USF and the Government of Jamaica for extending Wi-Fi access to the Steer Town community.
He said it is imperative that persons use the facility responsibly and for “good outcomes”.
“I know that Steer Town residents, our schoolchildren and all other people will utilise it for the benefit of advancing themselves in a positive way and bringing about a positive enhancement for the entire community,” Mongal said.
The USF, which is an agency of the Ministry of Science, Energy, Telecommunications and Transport, is mandated to provide internet connectivity and increase the use of ICT devices across the country.
This is through the execution of strategic projects such as free community Wi-Fi that benefit Jamaicans across a plethora of sectors.