Fri | Sep 22, 2017

Jamaica’s second public Wi-Fi facility launched at Mandela Park

Published:Saturday | January 14, 2017 | 1:01 AM
The southern section of Mandela Park in St Andrew.

Mandela Park is now officially the second public Wi-Fi facility in Jamaica, following Thursday, January 12) launch staged by the Universal Service Fund in conjunction with the Ministry of Science Energy and Technology the Fund’s USF ConnectJA project.

Making the point that “2017 will be bigger and better when it comes to technological development,” Dr. the Honourable Andrew Wheatly MP and Minister of Science Energy and Technology (MSET) endorsed the launch.

“I believe that Jamaicans need to really appreciate that for us to achieve our true economic potential, we have to ensure that ICT is our main pillar. The USF (in that regard) is an entity that facilitates this, ensuring that Jamaicans are exposed to the technologies we find out there driving the world economy,” he continued.

USF ConnectJA, is the latest initiative in a range of offerings by the Universal Service Fund, an Agency of the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology charged with the responsibility of ensuring that the island obtains 100 per cent internet access regardless of region or demographic.

Whilst MSET seeks to ensure that information is as accessible as air, and that Jamaica does not lag behind in today’s fast-paced, globalised arena, the government is aware of the existing potential for persons of ill-intent to use the facility for a range of nefarious activities. It is for this reason that security measures are being devised to mitigate against our facilities becoming an aid to criminals in the execution of their activities.

The Mandela Park Wi-Fi Facility follows its Devon House predecessor, which was commissioned on October 28, 2016.

Noting that this is the second such corporate area Wi-Fi Facility, the USF in an earlier release reiterated the Government’s goal of island wide connectivity, and announced that St Catherine, St Elizabeth, St Ann and Manchester will soon receive similar Wi-Fi facilities, “which will take internet outside the walls of our Community Access Points (which will still remain in operation) and spread it into wide open spaces where persons with their own devices will be able to get connected and get productive.”