Friday 4 December, 2020

Gov’t to set up free Wi-Fi in 60 locations, access centres for devices

The government is working on a policy for working remotely in Trinidad and Tobago. They also intend to provide 60 locations where the public will be able to access free Wi-Fi.  

Minister of Public Administration and Digital Transformation, Allyson West announced the policies in the Senate today as they began to debate the 2021 fiscal package. 

West explained that while the government has promised countrywide Wi-Fi in the past, more focus will be put on underserved areas who need it most. 

“We are embarking on an exercise to ascertain the current gap in coverage. The last one was done in 2013 and one is now overdue so TATT (Telecommunications Association of Trinidad and Tobago) working along with the CSO (Central Statistical Office) will work on that project and come back to us with information on where the gaps are in coverage of broadband,” she said. 

West said that the intention is to ensure that students in rural communities have access to the blended learning initiatives that may take flight in the next school year. 

“TATT, through the Universal Service Fund is about to provide coverage in Brasso Venado, Los Atajos and St Johns Parish in Tobago. That should happen shortly,” she promised. 

The additional 60 hotspots throughout the country will be for more public areas and should come on stream within the financial year. 

“In libraries, health centres, government centres and we’re also working with the service providers to encourage them to apply their corporate social responsibility programmes towards providing additional free Wi-Fi,” she added. 

For those lacking devices, access centres will be set up to ensure no one is left behind. While quite a few already exist, Senator West says 13 more are on the way. 

“What these access centres provide is free Wif-Fi to those who have devices, also devices to people who don’t and we have staff from the area where the centre is who train you,” she said. 

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