JIS News

Residents of Hamilton Mountain and Mango Valley in St. Mary now have access to Internet, under the Universal Service Fund’s (USF) free Community Wi-Fi Programme.

The communities are among 189 selected locations across the island, of which the USF has completed 105 installations.

Minister of Science, Energy and Technology (MSET), Hon. Daryl Vaz, who was present at both launches on April 13, commended the USF on its hard work.

“It is groundbreaking work that is changing lives and fueling hope as we build a brighter future for Jamaica. These community Wi-Fi projects are part of [the] larger move to ensure that we close the [digital] gaps which exist among our people,” the Minister explained.

The USF’s efforts are part of the Ministry’s plan to transform Jamaica into a digital society.

Minister Vaz pointed out that the pandemic prompted the Government to accelerate efforts in bridging the digital divide in Jamaica.

This led to the development of the National Broadband Initiative to provide Last Mile connectivity by 2025.

According to the Minister, special emphasis is placed on underserved and unserved areas.

This is to ensure that every Jamaican benefits from connectivity for work, school, and daily communication.

“This is critical, as broadband has the ability to decrease poverty levels, drive employment, increase human capital and improve quality of life,” the Minister said.

He encouraged the residents to use Wi-Fi facilities for their needs and the intended purpose.

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