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Date: 21 Nov, 2011
Source: Invest Barbados

An initiative launched by the Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation (BEF) has resulted in major expansion of Wi-Fi access around the island.

The BEF made the disclosure at the inaugural Barbados National Entrepreneurship Summit in 2010, that it would develop the project which aimed to have island wide coverage by November 11, 2011.

Earlier this month, the organization reported on the progress of the project at a press conference. Although the 11.11.11 target was not fully achieved, the BEF has spearheaded the initiative transforming the island from a position of having about 1% free wireless coverage to about 60% coverage. To date, fifteen community centres have been furnished with the necessary equipment and have fully operational free Wi-Fi networks.

CEO, Damian McKinney noted, “the project is fundamental to propelling Barbados to the centre of global business with the incremental proliferation of free Wi-Fi hotspots, which in turn will enable new business opportunities and innovations”. He indicated that there has been a paradigm shift and internet literacy is of vital importance.

He added, “Indeed, IT capability and capacity is the single most important transformational force that Barbados can harness, now, when seeking to compete for the lifeblood that is global market share.”

The BEF envisions that this project – will help to foster an IT culture, and enhance the business environment in Barbados.