New wireless Internet café promises fast service

By Gitanjali Singh
Stabroek News
October 2, 2000

Tired of waiting for an Internet connection? Then try Guyana's first wireless Internet access service at the Mathave Cafe on Regent Street.

Manageress of the cafe, which is situated above C&F Supermarket on Regent Street, Ileana Boodhoo, has promised the fastest and most reliable service. She said their internet bandwidth is via a dedicated link with a 512 KBPS speed. Services offered include fast web browsing and downloading, interactive chats, e-mail access, personalised headphones for privacy and a wide array of software that allows a person to work quickly and efficiently. And training is also provided.

Wireless Internet access - how does it work? Raymond Shaw, Technical Director of i-Net Communications, explained that his company provides the internet feed via satellite.

The company owns a satellite dish, which is installed at its offices. An antenna is installed on the roof of the cafe pointing at the i-Net Communications satellite dish. A wireless `router' resembling a computer is linked to the antenna by cables. The router is then connected to a hub into which all computers are plugged.

Shaw explained that 1,000 computers could be used off the current system without reducing the speed and the bandwidth expands to accommodate increased usage. Shaw said his company provides high speed wireless data connectivity and uses internet technology for all services provided. According to Shaw, wireless Internet access reduces the cost of communications and opens up new areas.

Mathave's Cafe also buys goods on the Internet for persons on request. Boodhoo explained that she could purchase items for people on the Internet using her credit card. She said she would charge a 10 percent on the purchase price of the item, which would be delivered to the person who would have paid in advance. The person ordering goods also pays the duties and taxes.

The 22-year-old woman said about two months ago, after seeing the need for a quality Internet cafe, especially for youngsters who did not have access to a computer, she approached Shaw.

She said the high cost of computers and the unavailability of telephone lines prompted her to open the wireless cafe, the only one of its kind in Guyana, she boasted. Persons wishing to do research who do not have access to the Internet could go to Mathave's Cafe.

Facilities for persons who own laptop computers and wish to access the Internet are also available. The facilities open from 08:00 hrs to 19:00 hrs, Mondays to Thursdays. On Fridays it is open from 09:00 hrs to 20:00 hrs and on Saturdays opening time is 08:00 hrs and it closes at 17:00 hrs. And on Sunday the cafe is open from 09:00 hrs to 13:00 hrs. Fees for students are $600 per hour and for non-students the cost is $1000 per hour.

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