Tech giant gives Cayman free public Wifi
Access to the internet has never been more important since people have had to physically separate since the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions were put in place, so news that US technology company Cisco has donated Wifi technology to enable ten free Wifi hotspots across the Cayman Islands will be good news for residents.
On Tuesday, Minister of Commerce, Planning and Infrastructure Joey Hew made the announcement, the launch of the free Wifi hotspots coinciding with the easing of three-month shelter-in-place restrictions, which were officially lifted on Sunday, 21st June.
Accessible to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the ten community Wi-Fi hotspot locations are mainly located at government-operated civic centres and facilities across the three Cayman Islands, as follows: District Administration Building; George Town Public Library; Government House; James M. Bodden Sr. Civic Centre; North Side Community; Seafarer’s Association Meeting Hall; South Sound Community Centre; University College of Cayman Islands; West Bay Public Library and the William Allen McLaughlin Civic Centre.
Minister Hew said this was a fantastic project that would 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,” he said.
The Cayman Islands Utility Regulation and Competition Office (OfReg) coordinated the overall project, while the installation of all IT infrastructure as well as technology deployment was led and managed by Unified Technologies, and the necessary bandwidth for the hotspots was provided by Flow, both of which donated their time and resources to this initiative.
Minister Hew said: “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.”
The technology infrastructure and equipment for the public Wi-Fi hotspots were donated by global networking and technology company Cisco, to help provide relief from the social impact caused by COVID-19 and help bridge the gaps of the digital divide.
Shari Slate, Vice President, Chief Inclusion and Collaboration Officer for Cisco, said: “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.”
Ms Slate said the company was “proud to collaborate with Minister Hew and the OfReg, and to offer our technology and expertise so that Caymanians 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&W and OfReg, the deep collaboration undertaken by our teams is truly what brought this initiative to life.”