Mandeville Weekly News


Posted by SR (riley) on Nov 17 2016 at 5:07 PM
Mandeville Weekly News >>

Jamaicans are being urged to protect community access points (CAPs) islandwide and create programmes that will enable them to be sustainable.The call came from Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley, who encouraged the Community Development Committees (CDCs) to develop sustainable programmes that will offset some of the expenses of the facilities.  “When we put in place programmes in communities, people believe that the politician, whether councillor or member of parliament should pay all the bills.  We are empowering our people, so when you get these facilities you must not only take care of the equipment, but you must run it like a business,” he said.

Citing an example, Dr. Wheatley said although Internet services are provided free of charge for two years, programmes need to be implemented that will enable them to pay after the expiration period, adding that monitoring of the facility is going to be important for sustainability and urged community members to use it to their fullest potential.

In the meantime, he said the Ministry is rolling out an energy conservative programme that seeks to assist communities and community organisations by putting in solar facilities, such as at community access points. The CAPs are funded from a cess collected by the USF on international calls terminating in Jamaica, at a rate of US three cents per minute to landlines and US two cents for cellular phones. This regime has generated $13 billion since being implemented in June 2005, when the USF was established.