NASSAU, The Bahamas – The Government of The Bahamas has begun piloting free Wi-Fi Zones at certain parks in the Fox Hill, Gambier Village and Bain and Grants Town Communities.
The Free Wi-Fi Zones will allow residents of those areas – particularly school-aged children — access to the worldwide web. Controls have been implemented to block certain content.
The provision of the Free Wi-Fi Zones is part of an overarching plan by the Minnis Administration towards the establishment a modern telecommunications infrastructure for all Bahamians – particularly school-aged children living in the country’s Inner-cities, many of whom attend public schools from preschool to secondary level, and who do not have access to the internet while at home.
As part of the plan, the Government recently allocated $2 million during the 2017/2018 Budget for the purchase of electronic notepads and the supporting training and infrastructure for two of its government-operated preschools in order to provide more Bahamian children with the educational tools they need.
This initiative is geared towards helping preschoolers with literacy, numeracy, speech development and computer literacy.
Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Hubert Alexander Minnis said under the new initiative allocated for in the 2017/2018 Budget, preschoolers will learn about the responsible use of computers.
“We will further build on this important initiative as we move ahead. It is but one of many innovations we will use in our programme of social development and social inclusion.
“We are committed to bridging the digital divides between government-operated and private schools so that every child has the opportunity to thrive in a modern Bahamas,” Prime Minister Minnis said. “We look forward to ensuring that STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education is strengthened from preschool through tertiary and vocational education.”
The establishment of the free Wi-Fi Zones fulfills two promises made by the Minnis Administration for the provision of free WIFI services in certain communities and to ensure greater equity and broader access to technology by all Bahamians, regardless of economic standing.
It is also one of the many innovations Prime Minister Minnis has vowed to use in the Government’s “programme of social development and social inclusion” in The Bahamas.
“The introduction of free Wi-Fi to certain parts of New Providence will help to expand access to communications and Internet Technology for those who cannot easily afford such access,” Prime Minister Minnis said.
“We are working to have widespread access to Wi-Fi services in the parks and public spaces within the inner-city of New Providence with a view to free Wi-Fi in certain communities,” Prime Minister Minnis added.