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Closer to Wi-Fi goal

11/17/2012

The Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation (BEF) celebrated a small victory yesterday when the Prime Minister agreed to enter into talks with them to discuss the use of government resources to extend the free Wi-Fi initiative to 100 per cent coverage.

It was reported during the National Entrepreneurship Summit that in just 22 months the free Wi-Fi initiative has reached 74 per cent coverage. If provided access to government, Wi-Fi resources across the island, the goal of 100 per cent free coverage can be achieved.

During his welcome remarks, BEF Chairman Peter Boos challenged the Prime Minister to get the government on board with the initiative and open its own WI-Fi networks.

“Our bold Wi-Fi initiative has enabled free Internet access for 75 per cent of Barbadians that would not otherwise be able to afford it. Prime Minister, if Government will agree to open its Wi-Fi, we can instantly achieve one hundred per cent access for all practical purposes,” Boos stated.

The Prime Minister responded, “Achievement of one hundred percent coverage can, I am sure, benefit from collaboration with the government and I should like to let the members of the Foundation know that I am prepared to sit with them to discuss how we can make achievement of that one hundred percent possible.”

BEF CEO Damian McKinney said that if this was achieved, Barbados would be the first country in the world with universal free Wi-Fi access.

“Why is it important to break a world record? Because you prove to the world that you are special…. We have to punch above our weight and we have to show through action that we are bigger and more successful than they think we are,” McKinney said.

He added that the BEF is looking forward to a meeting with the Prime Minister, adding that they will not give up until their goal achieved. (AN)

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