Renewable Energy for CAPS

Photo: Contributed Chief Executive Officer of the Universal Service Fund (USF), Suzette Buchanan.

Story Highlights

  • The Universal Service Fund (USF) will be conducting a review of some of the existing Community Access Point (CAP) facilities, with the aim of adding renewable energy to reduce the operating costs.
  • The USF has, to date, implemented 255 CAPs across Jamaica, and is looking at opening additional locations at McCooks Pen and Homestead in St. Catherine in another month.

The Universal Service Fund (USF) will be conducting a review of some of the existing Community Access Point (CAP) facilities, with the aim of adding renewable energy to reduce the operating costs.

“We have done research and our findings show that a number of CAPs are having a challenge in staying afloat due to the overhead expenses, so we thought it best to go in that direction, as, usually, electricity is one of the major costs that these operators have to deal with,” Chief Executive Officer of the USF, Suzette Buchanan, told JIS News.

“So, if we get that out of the way, they will be better able to sustain themselves,” she added.

The USF has, to date, implemented 255 CAPs across Jamaica, and is looking at opening additional locations at McCooks Pen and Homestead in St. Catherine in another month.

These facilities, which provide computer and Internet services to communities, will be outfitted with alternative energy solutions.

“We are now moving to outfit all the new centres with solar energy,” Miss Buchanan said.

“We do not want to just open CAPS, as we are not chasing numbers. We are looking more at impact, and we want the projects to stay afloat for as long as possible, so that they can be of more service to the community,” she said.

The USF is an agency of the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology, with a mission of deploying broadband services and information and communications technology (ICT) in institutions across the island.

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