The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and United Nations Development Program (UNDP) will open over 10,000 free WiFi hotspots in the country before 2020 ends.
In a ceremony on Thursday, DICT and INDP activated 69 free WiFi sites in remote and disadvantaged areas in Albay, Isabela, Palawan, Lanao del Sur, and Davao City.
UNDP Philippine Country Office Resident Representative Titograd Mitra vouched for the organization’s commitment in providing for the 10,000 sites for this year.
DICT Undersecretary Eliseo Rio Jr. said around 3,500 WiFi facilities have been activated in different parts of the country under their Free WiFi for All program.
According to Rio, the department targets 3,000 more sites that will be opened for internet access in June and another 3,000 before December.
“For 2020, we will have about 12,000,” Rio said.
With 3,000 free WiFi sites, the facility can accommodate more than a million of users.
Up to 40 megabits can be enjoyed per access points, Rio said. “Let’s say 100 users or so, they get 500 kbps. But that’s very fast enough,” he said.
As mentioned by DICT Secretary Gregorio Honasan II in his speech, Rio said the program does not only aim to help students and teachers for academic purposes but also small entrepreneurs in agriculture in remote areas.
“So pagdating ng mga bangka ng fishermen, all they have to do is to take a picture of their catch, ipadala nila sa internet and doon nila maa-advertise ‘yung kanilang kuha,” he said.
“In Mountain Province, yung strawberries nila kapag walang bumili, sayang lahat ‘yun. This time, they just have to take pictures and that will even eliminate the need of a middle man,” he added. —KBK, GMA News