USF head calls upon residents to watch over Wi-Fi hotspots
Universal Service Fund (USF) CEO Daniel Dawes is urging citizens to protect the Wi-Fi hotspots installed in their communities.
Pointing to the recent theft of the infrastructure installed to provide free Internet service to the public in Golden Spring, St Andrew, Dawes expressed hope that no such further incident will occur.
He also maintained that the USF will not be able to replace the stolen equipment in that community.
“There are other communities that are to get and it would not be fair to have given them, they should have protected it,” he stressed while speaking to The Gleaner on Monday after the official launch of a community Wi-Fi hotspot in Red Hills Square in St Andrew West Rural, the second community in that constituency to receive connection under the $1.2-billion project.
To date, the USF has installed some 189 access points islandwide, Dawes said, adding that each constituency will receive an additional one in the upcoming year.
“The Government’s broad strategic arrangement is to have enough of these devices out there to realise the digital societal space,” he told The Gleaner. “The intent is to make sure every primary school [and] every high school have access to broadband facility.”
While emphasising that the Wi-Fi connection will be a huge benefit to the community, Red Hills resident Barry Wilson also encouraged residents to protect it from theft.
A GOOD MOVE
“All of us need to be a watchdog of what is happening. You can discreetly tell of any vandalism we are seeing. It is a good move for the community; many communities want this,” he said.
Another resident, who operates a grocery shop in Red Hills Square, is also grateful for the hotspot.
“It benefit nuff people ‘cause people left and come and siddung and a use it. Mi use it to,” she said.
While commending the USF on this initiative, St Andrew West Rural Member of Parliament Juliet Cuthbert Flynn noted that another access point had been installed in Lawrence Tavern in the constituency and one more is to be commissioned in Brandon Hill.
“As we embrace the use of technology, I am pleased that the small businessman and woman right around here, and the boys and the girls will be able to benefit from this Wi-Fi service right here in the square of Red Hills,” she said.