Wi-Fi prep excites Falmouth Mayor
GAGER... let us use it so it can benefit us in a positive way

FALMOUTH,Trelawny —Mayor of Falmouth, Councillor C Junior Gager, is elated over advanced preparation by the Government to roll out free secured Wi-Fi hot spots to cover sections of the town of Falmouth, including in the historic Water Square where a statue of iconic sprinter Usain Bolt is to be mounted soon.

The Trelawny Municipal Corporation (TMC) recently carried out an extensive beatification project, funded by the Tourism Enhancement Fund, in the seaside town which, prior to the novel coronavirus pandemic, was rapidly developing into a key tourism resort area.

Gager, who is also chairman of the TMC, is particularly happy that the pedestrianised section of Water Square, where seats are erected, will be fitted with free Internet access.

“A team from the Universal Service Fund (USF) came down and they indicated that very soon they would will start rolling out free Wi-Fi in Falmouth. We are now determining the areas where we want the hot spots. We are trying to see if we can get it to cover the market district, the town centre where people sit so that they will be able to access Wi-Fi,” Gager said.

“I am feeling good because in this modern time, especially what is happening now with COVID, having Wi-fi you are able to get online to get information you require. With this coming on stream it will make it much easier, especially for children who want to come and complete their homework or who are at home and want to access this free Wi-fi, they are free to.”

He was, however, quick to warn individuals to refrain from using the free Internet for unscrupulous activities.

“Let us use it so that it can benefit in a positive way. Don't use it to destroy or to distract, but use it in such a way so that our children will be able to benefit from this project. Don't use it to cause anything negative but use it in such a way so that it benefits us and we can see the benefit that we can get from this. Don't use it for nothing to get a bad name or to destroy anyone,” the mayor beseeched.

In a drive to facilitate greater Internet access to Jamaicans, the Government continues to roll out free secured Wi-Fi hotspots in popular public places across the island.

The initiative is being made possible through the Universal Service Fund (USF), an agency of the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology, which will carry out the installation in the select locations.

The USF is funded by a levy on incoming international calls to mobile lines, and incoming international calls that terminate on fixed lines. The USF uses these funds for the execution of a myriad of national ICT projects to ensure that Jamaica becomes a knowledge-based society.

Chief executive officer of the USF, Daniel Dawes, revealed that Trelawny is one of three western parishes that is currently being prepared for free Wi-Fi access. Already, Montego Bay has been the beneficiary of free Wi-Fi in the historic Sam Sharpe Square under the initiative.

“In Savanna-la-Mar, Westmoreland, we designed and we are scoping now and we have been to Hanover where I toured with the MP and the mayor and members the municipal corporation. We toured the Lucea town centre because that is where we are going to put up the access points and of course we would have gone to Falmouth last week. So last week we toured with Mayor Gager and the MP, Tova Hamilton,” Dawes told the Jamaica Observer.

He indicated that “these projects will not take nothing less than four months”.

“We would have done 13 public Wi-fi, including May Pen, Sam Sharpe Square and Port Antonio and and several area. It is a continuation of the commitment by the ministry and the Universal Service Fund that we will ensure at least that the townships are outfitted with free public Wi-Fi,” Dawes said.

BY HORACE HINES Staff reporter hinesh@jamaicaobserver.com

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