Residents will be able to enjoy free Wi-Fi access at 10 locations across the Cayman Islands, following an announcement by Joey Hew, the minister responsible for infrastructure.
Global networking company Cisco donated the technology and equipment for the Wi-Fi hotspots to provide relief to the social impact caused by COVID-19 and help those without internet access connect with family, friends and online resources.
Utility regulator OfReg coordinated the project, while local IT company Unified Technologies installed the infrastructure and deployed the technology with telecom carrier Flow providing the bandwidth.
Minister Hew thanked all parties for their collaboration and donating their time and resources to provide the public internet access within a short timeframe.
“This is a fantastic project that will serve a great purpose for many people – students, families and even young entrepreneurs. We recognise that some people may not have access to Internet so I feel sure that these hotspots will be welcomed across our Islands, especially at this time,” Hew said in a press release.
“I have to commend OfReg for coordinating the project, the private sector organisations for providing the infrastructure, connectivity, technical labour and set-up, and a number of entities including District Administration, Ministry of Education, University College of Cayman Islands, Seafarers Association and others for providing the locations,” he added.
The free Wi-Fi hotspots are accessible at all times at:
- District Administration Building on Cayman Brac
- George Town Public Library
- Government House
- James M. Bodden Sr. Civic Centre
- North Side Community
- Seafarers Association Meeting Hall
- South Sound Community Centre
- University College of Cayman Islands
- West Bay Public Library
- William Allen McLaughlin Civic Centre
The launch of the initiative comes as Cayman is easing the three-month shelter-in-place restrictions in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic. CISCO said it aims to bridge the digital divide within the islands with its donation.
“Having internet access is more critical than ever. Now is the time for business and government leaders to step up and work together to close the digital divide so we can create a digital and inclusive future where no one is left behind,” said Shari Slate, vice president, chief inclusion and collaboration officer for Cisco. “We are proud to collaborate with Minister Hew and the OfReg, and to offer our technology and expertise so that residents of the Cayman Islands who need help coping with this new normal can access resources online and connect with family without worry.”
She added, “Cisco is grateful for the dedication and local leadership demonstrated by Unified Technologies. Alongside Flow C&Wand OfReg, the deep collaboration undertaken by our teams is truly what brought this initiative to life.”