Sat | Jun 25, 2022

Port Maria gets free Wi-Fi

Published:Monday | May 23, 2022 | 12:05 AMGareth Davis Sr/Gleaner Writer
St Mary Central Member of Parliament Dr Morais Guy (right) and Port Maria Mayor Richard Creary participate in the unveiling of a Wi-Fi hotspot for the St Mary capital on Thursday. Also taking part are (from left) Universal Service Fund CEO Daniel Dawes, St
St Mary Central Member of Parliament Dr Morais Guy (right) and Port Maria Mayor Richard Creary participate in the unveiling of a Wi-Fi hotspot for the St Mary capital on Thursday. Also taking part are (from left) Universal Service Fund CEO Daniel Dawes, St Mary Western MP Robert Montague; and Science, Energy and Technology Minister Daryl Vaz. The launch took place in the Claude Stewart Park.

PORT MARIA, St Mary:

Several schools, the police station, and a library are now able to tap free Wi-Fi after a public hotspot was established in Port Maria, widening the Internet highway for the St Mary capital and adjoining communities.

Science, Energy and Technology Minister Daryl Vaz said easy access to the Internet was a critical deliverable in global economies and was viewed as crucial for communication, research, education, and entertainment.

The need for high-speed Internet became a global imperative as many schools were shuttered in 2020 and much of 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic, forcing greater reliance on online classes.

Vaz, who was guest speaker during last Thursday’s launch at Claude Stewart Park, said the ministry was proud to have the second free public Wi-Fi spot in St Mary, courtesy of the Universal Service Fund. Annotto Bay was the first.

The USF, which is celebrating its 17th anniversary, is targeting the establishment of hotspots in three communities across Jamaica’s 63 constituencies.

“I must commend the hard-working and competent Universal Service Fund team for providing public Wi-Fi hotspots to the people of Port Maria. So I must pause, since I was not the minister in charge 17 years ago, and give credit to all of those ministers that have served in this ministry during that period,” said Vaz.

He continued: “As a ministry, the vision is a commitment to the provision of access to technology for all.”

Residents living along Cox, Stennet, Main, Hudson, Market, and Warner streets will all benefit.

Earlier, Port Maria Mayor Richard Creary spoke about the importance of accessing free Internet.

“The park is well utilised, with students sitting under those trees doing their homework. Now, they have access to free Wi-Fi, and they can sit and conduct their educational activities,” Creary said.

St Mary Central Member of Parliament Dr Morais Guy lauded Vaz for honouring a commitment to the town of Port Maria.

Guy urged students to encourage their parents to learn to use the Internet and get on board the digital age.

gareth.davis@gleanerjm.com