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Government to triple free WiFi sites
Information and Communications Technology Undersecretary for operations Eliseo Rio said 6,000 public WiFi hotspots would be put up this year in partnership with the United Nations Development Program.
STAR/ File

Government to triple free WiFi sites

Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star) - March 6, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) is set to triple the number of its free WiFi hotspots this year in a bid to bolster its goal of bringing connectivity to more people across the country.

Information and Communications Technology Undersecretary for operations Eliseo Rio said 6,000 public WiFi hotspots would be put up this year in partnership with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

“We are going to put these in areas where there is no signal or very poor signal from our commercial telcos. If we depend on our commercial telcos, we cannot do this,” Rio said.

“So with this we are going to put up by June 3,000 and before the end of the year another 3,000 for a total of 6,000,” he said.

Aside from the partnership with the UNDP, Rio said DICT is also putting up on its own additional 5,000 WiFi hotspots nationwide.

Since starting the Free WiFi for All Program in June 2016, the agency has managed to rollout nearly 3,500 WiFi hotspots so far.

“This will be tripled. So this year we will have more than 10,000 over and above the existing ones we have for a total of more than 12,000 before the end of the year,” he said.

According to Rio, the existing 3,475 WiFi sites that have been established to serve nearly one million users.

“Subscribers will enjoy at least 520 kilobits per second. They can download — you can’t download movies — but they can watch Youtube and they can get educational materials from this,” he said.

Through its Pipol Konek – Free WiFi Internet Access in Public Places project, the DICT targets to accelerate the government’s efforts in enhancing internet accessibility for Filipinos in hopes of bolstering economic, social, and educational opportunities and bridging the growing digital divide.

ELISEO RIO PIPOL KONEK UNDP
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