Free WiFi Brings Smile to North
The entire ethos of the Bainimarama Government is to leave no Fijian behind and to meet the needs and aspirations of everyone- something they have been doing for the last nine years. Nomai Tinaimaitai Villager from Dogotuki
People in the North have a reason to smile - as now they have access to free Wi-Fi internet.
The free Wi-Fi launch was officiated by Walesi board director Robert Khan outside the Labasa Civic Centre.
This initiative was possible under Government’s Digital Fiji programme.
The free Wi-Fi hotspot which is expected to provide high level internet speed was an initiative that was announced in the 2018-2019 National Budget with a $40 million allocation for increased speed in public Wi-Fi hot spots in Fiji. These locations include My Suva Park, Sigatoka bus stand, Koroivolu Park in Nadi, Shirley Park in Lautoka, Ba bus stand, Korovou Market, Syria Park in Nausori, Labasa Civic Centre and Savusavu Market.
Nomai Tinaimaitai of Dogotuki said the free Wi-Fi internet would allow her to speak to his son who lives in overseas.
“Buying credit than subscribing for a week for internet access was too much and expensive.
“My $7 one week subscription would finish in two days,” Ms Tinaimatai said.
“With the free internet access, it would allow me to speak with my son and to check, how he is doing. “The entire ethos of the Bainimarama Government is to leave no Fijian behind and to meet the needs and aspirations of everyone- something they have been doing for the last nine years.
“So their vision for national development is, above all, an inclusive one — to forge a national consensus that the best way for Fiji to move forward is to ensure that no project gets the green light unless it passes the sustainability test and is in the interest of all Fijians,” she said.
Rohit Sharma of Wailevu said the Bainimarama Government is determined.
“The initiative is part of a wider Government plan to improve service delivery through digital means,” Mr Sharma said.
“It also envisions a time when people will not have to visit Government offices but get work done online.
“The move by Government deserved praise; I have had a lot of good responses from the people of Sigatoka, especially the Walesi TV where eight channels are available free.
“As for the wifi hotspot sometimes we have no data when we need to use the internet for something important so this will certainly help. “We are so blessed to get Walesi television which means we will have eight channels to select from,” he said.
Mr Khan said the launch of the wi-fi was the brainchild of Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama in his vision to transform Fiji into a digital hub.
“We want to ensure that Fijians and the young people were able to access to free wifi,” Mr Khan said. “We will become a more knowledge base society if we adopt and use the technology.
“We have to ensure that our young people get access to technology, get access to information so they can become a lot more empowered. “Walesi Limited is a Government commercial company that is governed and managed by its own board of directors, and not by FBC or any other television broadcaster in Fiji.
“Walesi Limited is responsible for the implementation of analogue to digital broadcasting migration and the management of the National Digital Television infrastructure.
“And, of course, use that information; use that technology in a responsible manner in a manner that will be useful not just to them, their towns and cities, but also to the country as a whole,” he said. Mr Khan was assisted by children of Labasa with the releasing of balloons signifying the launch.
School students help launch the free wi-fi hotspot in Labasa, Vanua Levu on October 13, 2018.