Fri | Dec 15, 2017

Annotto Bay gets computer resource centre

Published:Thursday | August 17, 2017 | 12:00 AM
BUCHANAN

ANNOTTO BAY, St Mary:

As part of the Government's plan to bring all of Jamaica online, Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Dr Andrew Wheatley, and the chief executive officer of the Universal Service Fund (USF), Suzette Buchanan, were among the guests who travelled to St Mary last week to launch a computer resource centre in the town of Annotto Bay.

According to Buchanan, who was born in the parish, the project is part of a wider plan to bring easy Internet access to the country's most underdeveloped and rural communities.

She told Rural Xpress: "The USF is charged with the responsibility of providing 100 per cent Internet penetration across the length and breadth of Jamaica, and we have used several vehicles to achieve this mandate.

"One is our community access points (CAPs): since our inception 12 years ago, we have done 256 of these and have around 40 more to roll out over the next couple of months. There are a number of projects waiting to be approved and by the end of the financial year, we would have done well over 100 CAPs or Internet cafÈs that you can find in community centres, churches, and schools across the length and breadth of Jamaica.

"One of our newest initiatives is the public Wi-Fi programme, which we'll be taking to the Corporate Area and undeveloped areas in rural Jamaica, including Port Maria, Mandeville, and St Ann before the end of the financial year."

DESTINED TO HELP

Buchanan, who was born in Carron Hall, St Mary, believes she was destined to help deliver the Government's Internet access project, as most of her life has been dedicated to serving her county and people.

She explained: "I was home, delivered in a board house in St Mary, and grew up on a pillow because I was born two months premature. My mother was originally from Kingston and when I was about 10 years old, she resettled and brought us to live there.

"I was a little girl with big dreams who was always looking for ways and avenues to serve, and at the age of 23 years old, I entered representational politics, and for the next 14 years remained elected in the Gregory Park division in Portmore where I resided.

"In 2012, I took a break and migrated to Australia, which is a truly First-World country and the place where Wi-Fi was invented. So when this opportunity came up, I was happy to accept it because I knew I would be able share the things I learned in Australia."

She added: "To achieve your goals, you must acknowledge, know, and be sure of what you want. Try several things and ensure this is what you really want. Whatever you're doing, do it from the heart, and if it is your passion, pursue it, and do not be dismayed or discouraged by what anyone says."

rural@gleanerjm.com