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It’s time enough!!!

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Fri, Jul 6. 2012

Editor: All business houses in SVG and, by extension, the entire world, depend on customers to make their enterprise profitable, but sad to say very few plough back some of their profits into the communities that make them profitable.{{more}} It is hoped that the following series under the above caption will be seen as a catalyst to make a good thing better and to start a good thing where it does not exist.

We live in a technologically advanced world where communications is critical to the success of business, safety, access of knowledge, as an early warning system, entertainment and the list can go on. Nowadays, the ubiquitous cell phone (many of them wifi ready), smart phones, tablet and laptop computers, e-readers are all commonplace, but all of these devices cannot access information from the www without the service of wired or increasingly wireless (wifi) routes.

That’s why it is time enough for ALL banks and service providers to have complimentary wireless Internet service at their institutions, to allow customers to be ‘connected’ whenever they are waiting in a queue to pay their water bills, telephone bills, electricity bills, waiting for the next available teller at a bank or credit union, and in a restaurant. As a matter of fact, anywhere you have to line up and wait for a service, free internet access must be available as a service to those customers who make that institution profitable. Yeah, it is time enough. All the previously mentioned institutions can afford to pay the less than EC$100 per month for an independent wifi service for their customers.

Additionally, complimentary wifi service can be shared by service providers at the two main bus terminals, Victoria Park and Arnos Vale playing fields, Botanic Gardens, Heritage and Tourism sites, including Fort Charlotte and the Cruise ship terminal. Some of these areas can also be fitted with live webcams which are constantly monitored as crime deterrents. Come on, we are not living in the dark ages; it is high time that these facilities be installed, as the technology is available easily and is now far cheaper than when the technology was just developed. So, despite the fact that we might be late in getting the technology, coming late is a blessing in disguise, as we are now the beneficiaries of the latest in technology … what do you think?

Down the road, and not too far in the future, I can envisage each sheltered bus stop with its own wifi router, powered by renewable energy, serving the community where it is placed, or better yet service providers providing WLAN service in all villages and towns, which is easiest, as they can use existing cellular towers, which will make maintenance of this service much easier and safer, as wifi routers placed at bus stops can be vandalized by the unscrupulous, as has been the case with the many public phone booths throughout our beautiful state in the past.

I must, on behalf of the Vincentian community, thank LIME and Karibcable for providing wifi service at the ET Joshua airport and I wish that it can be duplicated at other airports in the state, like Union Island, that currently do not enjoy that service. Some of the popular restaurants, like Bickles, have already provided wifi service to customers, but it is time enough that others take the cue and provide broadband internet for the entire Vincentian community.

With the many visitors coming in for Vincy Mas 2012 and beyond, who will have with them wifi ready gadgets, let’s get on board, wifi routers can be installed and working in less than an hour by professional servicemen and less than half an hour if there is an existing LIME or Karibcable line to those premises. Come on, it’s time enough !!!

The Government has made the timely decision to provide our schoolchildren with computers, but all children who own these devices do not live within close proximity of the schools they attend and most of these wireless routers placed at the schools have their output power reduced, while the service is also content/access limited, to protect against abuse. How can these students complete or do their homework requiring research from the www if they don’t have an internet connection. Poor people cannot afford 3G/4G service and, therefore, it is time enough that a community wifi router, running full power, be placed to serve the community in which it placed. Information is education; education places most people in a better income bracket; when people have more spending power, they will be able to afford an improved service to cater to their private needs; let’s look down the road, the dollar you invest today will reap thousands tomorrow. Let’s invest in the future of SVG today, … it’s high time !!

Donald De Riggs

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