More Jamaicans To Have Access To Computer Technology

By the end of the year, thousands of Jamaicans across the country should have easier access to information technology as Government continues to roll out its Community Access Points (CAP) and broadband initiative.

This was disclosed by Minister of State for Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Julian Robinson on Thursday September 21, 2012 during a JIS Think Tank.

He informed that under CAP, community facilities, including community centers, are being outfitted with computer equipment with high speed internet service.  Already, some 85 points of access have been completed, 57 are in progress, and 123 others are being considered for implementation.

The CAPS project is being funded by the Universal Service Fund (USF) as part of Government’s thrust to bring computer technology as close as possible to every Jamaican so as to bridge the digital divide.

The USF is also implementing an island-wide broadband network, which will provide internet access to connected schools, post offices, and libraries, and will facilitate interconnectivity among the institutions. Some 25 libraries, 20 schools and 26 post offices across the island have been connected.

Mr. Robinson said that the setting up of the CAPS and provision of broadband service to communities will enable young Jamaicans, who cannot afford to have the technology in their homes, to be able to access it at public points, and use it to develop the solutions that can drive the economy.

“When we look at the issue of access, it’s not an end in itself simply to just have persons having computers in post offices or libraries. It is to ensure that we can grow our economy, and provide more jobs.

“We want Jamaicans to start to develop solutions to Jamaica’s problems. This will enable someone to use the facilities to do that. Many of the persons we are targeting are youngsters, who are at high school or at tertiary institutions and their disposable income is at the lowest possible level.  We believe if more Jamaicans have the access they can develop the solutions that can drive the country up the information super highway,” Mr. Robinson argued.

The projects are expected to continue into 2013.