Portland’s capital, Port Antonio, now boasts a free and secured internet access zone, following the launch of a public Wi-Fi hotspot in the town’s square on December 11.
The Wi-Fi zone was launched by Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Hon. Daryl Vaz; Eastern Portland Member of Parliament, Ann-Marie Vaz; Chief Executive Officer, Universal Service Fund (USF), Daniel Dawes; and Port Antonio Mayor, Councillor Paul Thompson.
The new hotspot is the 13th to be established by the Government through the USF, in partnership with several stakeholders.
Port Antonio’s Wi-Fi zone will be powered by telecommunications service provider Flow, while the infrastructure, inclusive of the cables and modem, was installed by PBS Technologies.
Mr. Vaz said he anticipated that the new facility will serve to, among other things, elevate Port Antonio’s profile.
“I am pleased that this journey has now come to Port Antonio, a town that has been earmarked for further development in recent times,” he said.
The Minister noted that internet connectivity has become a necessity, “as it changes perspectives and opens doors of opportunities for people”.
In this regard, he praised the USF, for which he has portfolio responsibility, for spearheading the establishment of Wi-Fi zones islandwide, and enabling residents of rural communities in particular to connect to the internet and access online resources for learning and social improvement.
“For many rural Jamaicans, internet connectivity is a luxury… for those who can afford it. With more than 44 per cent of Jamaicans living in rural areas, this ought not to be so. Residents of rural communities should have the same level of internet connectivity as persons living in urban Jamaica,” Mr. Vaz said.
Meanwhile, Custos Rotulorum for Portland, Hon. Lincoln Thaxter, thanked the Government and its partners for providing the service for the residents of Port Antonio.
“I would implore all of us to use the resource wisely… to increase productivity in learning in our schools, in our business places, and in our churches,” he said