Dumfries gets free Wi-Fi hotspot, third set for Lilliput area
Residents of Dumfries in St James, especially students at Dumfries Primary School, will now benefit from the district’s new community WiFi hotspot, which was unveiled on Thursday by Edmund Bartlett, member of parliament for St James East Central.
The WiFi hotspot, situated in the Dumfries square, was installed by the Universal Service Fund (USF) at a cost of $7.5 million. It is one of three planned WiFi centres for the constituency. A similar facility was unveiled in John’s Hall earlier on Thursday, with a third to be unveiled in the Lilliput area.
Juleel Robinson, the 11-year-old head boy of Dumfries Primary School, welcomed the convenience of using the new Wi-Fi service, especially for students who might still have classes online.
“The free WiFi will help this community where, if they do not have Wi-Fi at their home and they have to go on Zoom or they have to go on another service to do classes, they can just come out by the centre to use the WiFi. It will be beneficial for us to have this Wi-Fi,” young Robinson told The Gleaner.The facility will accommodate up to 200 users at a time.
The educational value of the new WiFi service was also a significant highlight of Bartlett’s address to the Dumfries residents.
“This is the age of knowledge, when knowledge is now available to all in a manner unprecedented .... Jamaica is now emerging into that age of knowledge,” said Bartlett.
“Part of that provision [of service] is to enable communities across Jamaica to have access to information and data, and the USF is to provide the infrastructure for this. What I want to have known from this is that with these access points, we are now better able to manage our communities,” Bartlett added. “This technology also allows us to connect with people all over the world, and we will be able to have enhanced security in the community.”
Dumfries’ WiFi unveiling falls under the USF’s mandate to open 189 similar WiFi hotspots across Jamaica, with 145 hotspots having been opened to date. The provision will also enhance plans to upgrade the community of Dumfries, and neighbouring communities like Adelphi, into major satellite towns.
Those previous plans for Dumfries, which were originally unveiled in 2011 and were slated to cost $2 million, would have included construction of 100 residential housing (units) and 25 commercial sites on 50 acres of land. The revival of that project is expected to be one of the benefits of the completion of the Montego Bay Perimeter Road construction.
Hyton Phillips, a representative of the Dumfries Moves Community Group, expressed thanks to Bartlett and the USF. “On behalf of the residents of this noble community and myself, I would like to extend a big ‘thank you’ to Mr Bartlett and the USF for this very important and timely initiative. You have led us closer to all parts of the world, and we thank you for this,” said Phillips.