Vaz promises Wi-Fi hotspots in each constituency
Minister of Science, Energy and Technology Daryl Vaz has announced plans to have at least three Wi-Fi hotspots in each of the country's 63 constituencies.
"We have an ambitious plan. I have written to the MPs for them to submit their three sites. We want to submit the plan to the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service for consideration in the new financial year," said Vaz.
He was speaking at a tour in the South East St Ann constituency last Thursday. He said that Finance Minister Dr Nigel Clarke is "very supportive" of the plan "because he realises the importance of it".
In underscoring the importance of Internet connectivity, especially for rural areas, Minister Vaz said that "the pandemic has brought on even more the urgency to get connectivity, especially in rural areas. These areas are most affected and the schools, teachers and communities are at a disadvantage because they do not have the connectivity. We are also rolling out our National Broadband plan. It is going to be a huge task, but we are committed to it."
Lisa Hanna, member of parliament for South East St Ann, said the provision of Internet access in rural communities is essential, given the present realities.
"We have some spaces that we want to turn into community hotspots so that children and residents can benefit from accessing the virtual reality that we now find ourselves in, because of not only COVID, but also in terms of where the world is going," she said.
Minister Vaz, MP Hanna and technical officials from the Universal Service Fund toured the constituency to ascertain the capacity of the facilities for Internet connectivity.
The facilities identified for Internet connectivity are: the Claremont Library and Rural Retreat Community Centre in Claremont, St Ann; and the Moneague Community Centre and Moneague Library in St Ann.