DICT gets Php1.8B Budget for Nationwide Free WiFi in 2017
More free WiFi spots across the nation? The Department of Information and Communications Technology will get Php1.8 billion worth of funding next year solely allocated for Free WiFi, according to the newly-submitted Php3.35 trillion Philippine National Budget for 2017.
Senate Minority leader Ralph Recto aims to boost the coverage of the government’s free WiFi in more areas across the nation. “With the proposed funding, the project, which aims to provide free broadband Internet access to 1,462 towns and 44 key cities nationwide, is sustained,” Recto said.
As per the DOST’s report last May, more WiFi spots will be installed nationwide and have commenced since this June:
- National Capital Region (186 sites)
- Region 1 (257)
- Region 2 (13)
- Region 3 (96)
- Region 4A (135)
- Region 4B (29)
- Region 5 (60)
- Region 6 (31)
- Region 7 (83)
- Region 8 (66)
- Region 9 (29)
- Region 11 (64).
Under the original plan, no-charge Wi-Fi access will be set up in selected airports, hospitals, public schools, plazas, seaports, government offices and other public places. Wi-Fi, in the Duterte administration, will also be used as a major tool in cutting red tape and in making “papers and processes” move faster in government offices. “If you’re at the NSO at may problema ka sa birth certificate mo, kung may access doon, pwede mong i–Viber ang kailangan pang dokumento,” Recto said.
The Free WiFi is a government project aiming to boost connectivity across the country. One can use the service with a 50MB daily allocation, or 1GB monthly with an average of 256 kbps — the lowest prevailing speed requirement for ”broadband” service, according to the then DOST-ICTO.