Sam Sharpe Square island's latest public Wi-Fi hotspot

Sam Sharpe Square island's latest public Wi-Fi hotspot

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

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ST JAMES, Jamaica — Residents of St James now have access to free, secured Internet service, the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology is reporting.

Sam Sharpe Square in Montego Bay was on Friday (January 24) commissioned into service as the island's latest public Wi-Fi hotspot.

Portfolio Minister, Fayval Williams, in her address during the ceremony, encouraged people to “use the Wi-Fi wisely, use it well… use it responsibly”.

She implored citizens to be vigilant when they are online in order to reduce their vulnerability to cybercrime.

“Our ability to connect with each other and engage with the technology has become a great enabler for growth and development, but I have to tell you that it makes us vulnerable as well,” Williams said.

“It is our responsibility as citizens, as users of the service, to ensure that we are smart when we get online. It is also our responsibility as a government to protect our citizens with robust policies and legislative framework,” she added.

Williams said that the Data Protection Bill, which is currently before a Joint Select Committee, seeks to usher in a new paradigm and establish a uniform, robust and clear framework with respect to the protection of citizens' personal and sensitive data.

“That represents the Government's attempt to build a modern legal framework to meet the needs and earn the trust of all stakeholders as it relates to the security of their data,” she noted.

Meanwhile, Mayor of Montego Bay, Homer Davis, in his remarks, also encouraged citizens to use the newly commissioned Wi-Fi service responsibly.

“Remember, your [digital] footprint cannot be erased and I, therefore, ask you all to be mindful of cybersecurity issues such as hacking, identity theft, among other [threats],” the mayor said.

The public Wi-Fi project, being executed by the Universal Service Fund (USF) is part of the Government's efforts to ensure that the island obtains 100 per cent Internet access and citizens are exposed to technology in order to facilitate economic and social development.

The Sam Sharpe Square facility is the first of four to be installed over the next few months, with other hotspots to be established in Portland, Clarendon and St Ann.

Free Internet access is already available in Half-Way Tree, St William Grant Park, Olympic Way, Devon House and Emancipation Park in Kingston; Cecil Charlton Park, Mandeville; and in Junction, St Elizabeth.

Internet service is also available at the more than 300 Community Access Points (CAPs) established by the USF across the island.

—JIS


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