Community Access Points get solar panels

November 08, 2017
Minister of Science, Energy and Technology Dr Andrew Wheatley assists students in accessing the Internet at the opening of the Mayfield All-Age School Community Resource Centre in St Elizabeth last week.

Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Dr Andrew Wheatley, says Community Access Points (CAP) across the island are being retrofitted with solar panels in order to make them more energy-efficient.

He said that the objective is to ensure that the overall operation of these sites "is as cost-effective as possible."

Wheatley noted that he had commissioned an audit of all the CAP sites, and "one of the things we immediately found out was that the electricity costs to maintain these centres were alarmingly high."

 

Greatest obstacles

 

"That's when I realised that we had to find a cheaper way to bring those (expenses) down," he said, noting that cost is one of the greatest obstacles to Internet access in most countries.

Wheatley was addressing teachers and students at the opening of the Mayfield All-Age School Community Resource Centre in St Elizabeth on November 1.

The project, which was undertaken by the Universal Access Fund (UAF) at a cost of $4.6 million will serve as a CAP site. Another centre costing about $3.3 million was also opened at the neighbouring Top Hill Primary School on the day.

A total of 257 CAP sites have been established across the island by the UAF.

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