Cebu News

Free Wi-Fi soon in key areas in Cebu by August

The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Free internet will be available in key areas across the province by the end of August, said Engr. Antonio Edward Padre, regional director of the newly established Department of Information and Communications Technology.

Padre made the announcement during the Kapihan sa PIA yesterday, barely three days after President Rodrigo Duterte announced during his State of the Nation Address (SONA) last Monday that Internet connection in the Philippines will be strengthened and free Wi-Fi will be made available in public places across the country.

Padre said phase one of the project in Cebu will cover Cebu City, Naga City, Bogo City, and Danao City with 88 access points in select plazas, public schools, and science high schools.

Tacloban City in Leyte and Calbayog City in Samar will also be covered by the first phase.

"The timeline will be, phase one must be up by the end of August," Padre said.

He said further that the initial speed of the public Internet will be four megabits per second but this will reportedly be increased to 10 megabits per second.

During his SONA in Manila, Duterte directed DICT to develop a national broadband plan to accelerate the deployment of fiber optic cables and wireless technology to improve internet speed.

Padre said bidding for the project was opened to the two major telecommunication companies.

"As requirement of the government, we offered a public bidding and both (of the) telcos will have their own respective areas for the bandwidth," he said during an interview.

At present, free Wi-Fi is available at the Plaza Independencia in Cebu City and the public plaza in Argao town in southern Cebu. 

Padre's announcement also coincided with the observance of the National Science and Technology Week.

Jesus Zamora Jr., assistant regional director for technical operations of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) - 7, said activities are geared towards encouraging the youth to study science. A science and technology exhibit was opened at Robinson's Galleria yesterday, which will run until tomorrow, July 29.

"Labi na taga-adlaw, nagagamit ta og cellphone so science and technology is always a part of our lives," Zamora said. (FREEMAN)

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