News & Events
News & Events
TECH HOT SPOTS -
Creating a new buzz around town |
Written by jamaicaobserver.com |
Friday, 16 September 2005
It may not enjoy widespread support in Jamaica,
but for a select but growing group, September
means NFL football games. For over a decade (and
for some even longer), the American football
season has provided an opportunity for some
serious diversion and entertainment, enabled by
cable and satellite TV.
More recently, technology has again upped the
ante. WiFi [short for Wireless Fidelity] hot
spots are in an emergent state of development in
the corporate area. Several nightclubs and
sports bars now offer the facility, and
customers are taking advantage of it for both
business and pleasure. Basically WiFi allows for
an over-the-air interface between a wireless
client and a base station or between two
wireless clients. This means simply that a
person with a laptop - and the applicable
wireless communications card or other device -
can sit in a café or sports bar and be connected
to the Web wirelessly.
How does that connect to NFL football? Casson's
Sports Bar and Pub in New Kingston has begun
using just such a WiFi hot spot to run what's
known as a Fantasy Football league - a sort of
parallel virtual league since the season began.
Casson's has in fact been a test site for Copia
Wireless Communications Limited - who installed
the system - a year ago.
The hot spot has received good public feedback
since it was installed.
Speaking with Caribbean Business Report,
proprietor Gary Casson said the addition had
enhanced the appeal of the venue as a point of
contact for serious sports fans.
"The whole interactivity of it has really ramped
up the level of interest, as guys can now not
only support a team of their choice, they can
virtually pit that team against other teams
throughout the season."
Casson similarly had high praises for the
technology aspect. "Works like a dream," he
said. "The connection is fast and is sustained
all the way through. We've had no complaints."
CEO of Copia Wireless, Darryl Wehmeyer, states
that the demand for hot spots has been getting
greater. Copia Wireless will announce the new
hot spot locations that will be in the corporate
area and Portmore soon. Aside from Casson's, the
company has installed the system at Red Bones,
Cannonball Café (New Kingston), Heather's Garden
Restaurant, D'Roof, and Indies within a matter
of days. These hot spots will work in tandem
with a newly branded service that will change
the way people in Jamaica use the Internet.
Access will initially be free.
The main challenge to this growth is, according
to Copia Sales Manager Tony Henry, "really just
the fact that this is relatively new, and so
there's a level of awareness that has to be
reached for people to be comfortable with the
technology". Some restaurateurs expressed
concerns that patrons using Wi-Fi might slow
their turnaround, but Henry counters that the
service enhances their marketability to
increasingly discerning customers, both locally
and those from overseas.