Point Hill residents get free Wi-Fi
Chief Executive Officer of the Universal Service Fund (USF), Daniel Dawes (third left), and Member of Parliament for St Catherine West Central, Dr Christopher Tufton (fourth left), lead in celebrating the establishment of a free secured Wi-Fi hotspot in the community of Point Hill, in the parish, on August 4. Others (from left) are Vice President of the Point Hill Community Development Committee, Anna-Kim Williams; Field Supervisor with the Social Development Commission (SDC), Jeremy Jones; Community Development Officer with the SDC, Shaunette Flemming; Corporal Dennis Williams, and Guidance Counsellor at the Point Hill Primary School, Feliciano Thorpe. Photo: JIS

KINGSTON, Jamaica - Residents in the St Catherine community of Point Hill now have access to a free secured Wi-Fi hotspot, installed by the Universal Service Fund (USF).

The system was officially commissioned into service on August 4, with Member of Parliament for St Catherine West Central, Dr Christopher Tufton, telling the residents that they have an opportunity to further enhance their development with proper use of the technology.

“We are empowering communities by easing the burden of expenditure on you, so that you can have technology access, and that is a very positive development for the community, because it is bridging the inequality gap. Those who couldn’t afford Wi-Fi now have access,” he said.

Noting that the “empowering tool” is for everybody in the area, Dr Tufton argued that the facility is the “gateway to the world” and it must be used for information and for the “right reason”.

Dr Tufton, who is also Minister of Health and Wellness, noted that he will be building on the opportunity provided by the system, such as the setting up of a supervised area for students to do research at the nearby resource centre.

Marketing and Public Relations Manager at the USF, Okema Hamilton, said the objectives of establishing the hotspots islandwide are the expansion in computer literacy for residents, improved performance by students, creation of opportunities, and the acquisition of “valuable skills” by persons.

“All these free Internet facilities, once utilised for their intended purpose, can assist with improving your lives. Make use of the facilities provided as the USF continues to increase the accessibility, affordability and availability of Internet technology to communities,” Hamilton said.

For her part, Vice President of the Point Hill Community Development Committee, Anna-Kim Williams, said children will be able to go to a safe area at the community centre and do their homework and complete projects, while farmers can use the facility to research the latest technology to boost their farming.

The USF, an agency of the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology, has commissioned hundreds of Wi-Fi hotspots and Community Access Points (CAPs) across the island, and is executing projects valued over $1.2 billion for the current financial year.

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