Fri | Aug 17, 2018

Solar powered cyber cafe commissioned

Published:Thursday | December 28, 2017 | 10:42 AM
Minister of Science Energy and Technology, Dr Andrew Wheatley (centre) is joined by executive chairman of the FLOW Foundation Errol Miller (right); and chairman of the Universal Service Fund Board of Directors Robert Lawrence in the commissioning of 'The Link – Sterling Castle'. – Contributed

The Ministry of Science Energy and Technology has commissioned its first solar powered community computer laboratory.

Located in Sterling Castle, St Andrew, the facility enables community members to access the Internet and other Information Communication Technology Services at no cost.

The Internet Café, dubbed ‘The Link – Sterling Castle’, was made possible through a partnership with the Universal Service Fund and the Flow Foundation.

Speaking at the commissioning of the centre, yesterday, technology minister Dr Andrew Wheatley said ‘The Link’ will unlock a world of possibilities for community members through increased access to the Internet.

He added that the facility’s impact will be even more significant, as the community will not be burdened with the cost of the energy required to operate the centre.

He revealed that in conducting audits of the almost 300 cyber cafes established under the programme, one of the challenges identified was the high cost of electricity.

Wheatley said in some cases, the high energy costs caused centres to reduce their operating hours or even close their doors.

He said that in response to these challenges the Ministry will outfit 100 Community Access Points with solar systems by March 31, 2017, and several other sites during the next financial year.