News Releases

UWI hosts international workshop on low-cost wireless networking

For Release Upon Receipt - June 18, 2010

St. Augustine

The University of the West Indies (UWI), Department of Mathematics and Computer Science (DMCS) recently concluded an international workshop aiming to train local Information Technology (IT) personnel to build and maintain long distance wireless networks throughout rural areas of Trinidad and Tobago, and to train other locals to do the same.

“The idea of this workshop was to train the trainers. Now, we can advance to the next stage of this ongoing project. The University is now working towards the acquisition of government support in order to obtain the necessary bandwidth to create and maintain long distance wireless computer networks (using Wi-Fi and low-cost equipment) for primary schools throughout the rural areas of Trinidad and Tobago,” said Dr Donna Comissiong, UWI DMCS Lecturer.

The low-cost wireless networking workshop, which took place from June 7th to 11th, 2010 at the UWI DMCS Computer Science laboratory, was open to graduate and advanced undergraduate UWI students, and selected members of the general public, and UWI staff (lecturers and technicians) from the Faculty of Engineering, the Faculty of Science and Agriculture and the St Augustine Campus IT Services department. Workshop instructors trained participants to create and maintain low-cost Wi-Fi computer networks. The main aim of the workshop is capacity building for network access in less developed areas of the country. This was the first time such technology was used in the Caribbean region.

Key speakers include Mr Christian O’Flaherty of The Internet Society, Professor Ermanno Pietrosemoli, President of La Fundación Escuela Latinoamericana de Redes, (EsLaRed), Mr Jose Javier Triviño, EsLaRed,  and Dr Carlo Fonda and Dr Marco Zennaro, both of the  Radio Communications Unit of the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), Trieste, Italy. The Internet Society, the ICTP and EsLaRed, along with the Network Start-up Resource Center (NSRC), donated much of the equipment used in the workshop.

As a pilot project, a long-distance Wi-Fi networking link was created between UWI St Augustine Campus and the St David’s RC primary school in Kelly Village, Trinidad. A long-distance link from an antenna placed on the roof of the Natural Sciences Building at UWI to the St David’s RC School in Kelly Village was established.

Dr Comissiong and Mr Naresh Seegobin, UWI DMCS Network Systems Administrator, are working closely on this next phase of the ongoing project.

For more information on similar projects being carried out in developing countries around the world, please visit, or, or contact Dr Donna Comissiong at or (868) 662 2002 Ext. 3099, or Mr Naresh Seegobin at or 662 2002 Ext. 2299. For more information on the UWI Faculty of Science and Agriculture, please visit


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About UWI

Over the last six decades, The University of the West Indies (UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a full-fledged University with over 40,000 students. Today, UWI is the largest and most longstanding higher education provider in the English-speaking Caribbean, with main campuses in Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, and Centres in Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, The Bahamas, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St Christopher (St Kitts) & Nevis, St Lucia, and St Vincent & the Grenadines. UWI recently launched its Open Campus, a virtual campus with over 50 physical site locations across the region, serving over 20 countries in the English-speaking Caribbean. UWI is an international university with faculty and students from over 40 countries and collaborative links with over 60 universities around the world. Through its seven Faculties, UWI offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Pure & Applied Sciences, Science and Agriculture, and Social Sciences.