Tue | Jul 23, 2019

Al Miller wants churches to become Wi-Fi hotspots

Published:Monday | May 20, 2019 | 12:23 AMJason Cross/Gleaner Writer
The Reverend Al Miller (left), pastor of Fellowship Tabernacle church, shares a joke with Fayval Williams, minister of science, energy and technology, and Daniel Dawes, chief executive officer of the Universal Service Fund, at the entity’s 14th anniversary church service yesterday at Fellowship Tabernacle, 2 Fairfield Avenue, Kingston.
The Reverend Al Miller (left), pastor of Fellowship Tabernacle church, shares a joke with Fayval Williams, minister of science, energy and technology, and Daniel Dawes, chief executive officer of the Universal Service Fund, at the entity’s 14th anniversary church service yesterday at Fellowship Tabernacle, 2 Fairfield Avenue, Kingston.

The Reverend Al Miller, pastor of the Fellowship Tabernacle church in St Andrew, yesterday used his sermon to appeal to the Universal Service Fund (USF) to gift churches across Jamaica Internet connectivity.

If this is done, said Miller, youth having difficulty accessing internet at home and elsewhere would only need to find the nearest church to do so.

The USF, which has been connecting Jamaicans to the internet by establishing seven Wi-Fi hotspots across the island, among other initiatives, celebrated its 14th anniversary with a church service at Fellowship Tabernacle, St Andrew.

“These days, you have no excuse to be an idiot. Idiot days gone. We have to cancel that slang that says ‘fully dunce’. You don’t have to be dunce anymore, because you can get information to build up yourself. If you can’t read, just connect. If you want help with math, English and Spanish, just connect.

“Churches should be an integral part of what USF is doing. Begin to use the churches to help with [your mission of] connectivity to make sure that every church is a hotspot and not only hot with the Holy Ghost. If you cannot connect where you are, you can find any church to connect,” Miller suggested.

Science, Energy and Technology Minister Fayval Williams, whose ministry has responsibility for the USF, said that the entity was not just resting on its good name, but has been improving the lives of Jamaicans.

“The USF is not resting on history. It has provided young persons with certification from the Caribbean Maritime University in information and communications technology and nine months of on-the-job experience, through the Technology Advancement Programme. Many of those [roughly 1,000] persons have been placed in jobs and are working,” she said.

Williams noted that the USF was working to ensure that the country becomes a knowledge-based and digital economy where individuals can secure gainful employment or start businesses using their skills and technical expertise.

jason.cross@gleanerjm.com