Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation: BEF, Committed to delivering on promise of 100% free Wi-Fi Access #technology #barbados #warchalking #wifispottr
The Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation (BEF) has reaffirmed their commitment to ensure that all Barbadians have access to free Wi-Fi (wireless broadband). The initiative of the BEF’s business facilitation pillar was to provide free access to Wi-Fi throughout Barbados by November 11th, 2011.
Through a huge outbreak of support by private sector, statutory organisations, community centres, churches and over 16,000 ‘friends’ on facebook the project has now achieved an estimated 70% access.
Since November the BEF’s Wi-Fi team has been deeply engaged in contacting companies interested in supporting the initiative and to this end, have secured the support of local internet service provider Winet, who have made a significant contribution to the project by facilitating five (5) so-called “mushroom” hotspots (having a kilometre or greater radius) at the following locations: Lammings, St. Joseph, Fontabelle, St. Michael, Gun Hill and Newbury, St. George, Maxwell, Christ Church and Whitehall, St. Michael.
The Ansa McCal group added three mushrooms at Haggatt Hall, Mile and a Quarter and St. Martin’s. Verdun House in St John, a parish which previously has no Wifi accessible to the public also recently added a mushroom. Meanwhile Tapas on the popular South Coast Boardwalk has also added a mushroom. Several more locations are on the mushroom installation roster, including Priva in Holetown, various locations of the Preconco Group, Lanterns Mall, locations in Cattlewash and Bathsheba, the Supreme Courts of Justice and a number of constituency offices of both political parties.
In total there are now more than 115 free wifi points available for access by the public all around the island.
Business Facilitation Champion and project leader Melanie Jones, commented that “support for the project has been overwhelming. A look at our Facebook page shows that the Barbadian public cannot get free internet access fast enough and visitors to the island are delighted to discover that free Wi-Fi is available on such a widespread basis. People know how critical free internet connectivity is to their success. It is the new gateway to education, productivity, business development and communication in the global community. Smart businesses and organisations recognise this and appreciate that their participation in the project is a highly visible and impactful demonstration of social responsibility.”
Ms. Jones went further to “extend heartfelt thanks to everyone who has contributed to the success of the project so far and to invite and challenge anyone who has the means to offer free Wi-Fi anywhere in Barbados to collaborate with the BEF as it strives to deliver 100 percent access to free Wi-Fi around the island.”