DOST: Free Wi-Fi project to push through
Rainier Allan Ronda (The Philippine Star) - January 26, 2016 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Science and Technology Secretary Mario Montejo has expressed confidence the project to put up free Wi-Fi hotspots in third to sixth class municipalities nationwide would push through before President Aquino steps down.

“We’re optimistic we can do it,” Montejo told reporters on the sidelines of the 41st Asia Pacific Advanced Network meeting at the Newport complex in Pasay City yesterday.

Of the 987 municipalities and cities covered by the project, the information and communications technology office (ICTO) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) ICTO-DOST awarded only 100 Internet protocol transport municipality or “middle mile connectivity” contracts due to a lack of bidders from telecommunication companies and service providers.

AZ Communications owned by businessman Antonio “Tonyboy” Cojuangco Jr. bagged the contracts.

Montejo said there were more bidders in the later tenders conducted by the ICTO-DOST.

Fiber optic cable

The DOST is also eyeing the setting up of fiber optic cable network in seven other cities in Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao to provide government agencies with faster Internet connectivity.

May Celicious-Cayaban, program manager of DOST’s advanced science and technology solutions and services engineering division, said the fiber optic cable network would be put up in Tuguegarao in Cagayan Valley; Legazpi, Albay; Baguio; Butuan in the Caraga region; San Fernando, Pampanga and Palo, Leyte.

“Our target is to finish it within the year,” Cayaban told The STAR.

Last year, the DOST set up fiber optic cable network in Metro Manila and Metro Cebu.

ACIRC ASIA PACIFIC ADVANCED NETWORK CAGAYAN VALLEY COJUANGCO JR. DEPARTMENT OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY MAY CELICIOUS-CAYABAN METRO MANILA AND METRO CEBU MONTEJO PAMPANGA AND PALO PASAY CITY PRESIDENT AQUINO
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