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August Town residents now have increased access to Information and Communications Technology (ICT) following yesterday’s (May 16) official opening of the Escarpment Road Cyber Centre.

Established at a cost of $3.42 million by the Universal Service Fund (USF), the centre, which is located at the New Testament Church of God, 3B Escarpment Road,

St. Andrew is equipped with 20 workstations, printers, and internet connections, which will be paid for by the fund over the next two years.

Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, in his remarks at the opening, said he was pleased with the partnership involving the Social Development Commission (SDC), the church, and the USF, which led to the establishment of facility.

Minister Paulwell said the cyber centre, which is the 136th such facility to be opened in various communities across the island, is in line with the Government’s drive to ensure that all Jamaicans have access to ICT.

“It is important that every single Jamaican understands the importance of this industry that we speak about – the ICT industry …we believe it can enable us to become a far more efficient as a society. It can solve so many of our problems in education, in health care, in manufacturing …it is an amazing tool that is here to facilitate our total development as a country; and we, therefore, have to make sure that every single Jamaican has access to it,” he stated.

Member of Parliament for Eastern St. Andrew, Andre Hylton, also expressed pleasure at the opening of the centre in his constituency, noting that it will enable young people to take advantage of job opportunities through the internet.

The USF, financed through funds generated from incoming international telephone calls, is mandated to accelerate the deployment of broadband services island-wide, in keeping with Government’s effort to enable more Jamaicans to access ICT.

This includes the creation of an ICT platform in secondary schools, libraries, post offices, and at community access points.

CONTACT: ALECIA SMITH-EDWARDS