MANILA - The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has activated its free public Wi-Fi connection along EDSA on Monday, in time for Philippines' Independence Day celebrations.
The first stage of DICT's free public Wi-Fi project covers all MRT stations and EDSA from Guadalupe to Cubao at street level. DICT claimed the Wi-Fi has "high-speed" internet.
The DICT explained that there are currently 2 IDs for the free Wi-Fi service: "FREE EDSA wifi" and "Juan Konek." These two will be merged into one id, which is "PipolKonek."
When train riders tried the service, some experienced fast internet connection while others had to wait for 15 seconds for their status to be posted on a social media.
DICT Secretary Rodolfo Salalima said he was expecting internet speed to decrease as more commuters pass through EDSA and ride the MRT on Tuesday.
But the DICT chief said he already requested telecommunication companies to maintain at least a two-digit speed or higher.
"I specifically requested na hindi siya bababa sa 2 digits. This is the promise of our President. Or they [telcos] will feel the wrath of the government," he said.
Salalima admitted that the connection may need some improvement particularly in areas going to the Mall of Asia (MOA).
"Sa street level, almost perfect na except for some stations going to MOA. 'Yung platform level almost perfect na rin pero 'yung connections between platforms hindi pa nagpapang-abot," he said.
Globe and PLDT offered their services at no cost to the government. Both telcos have been providing free Wi-Fi connection in different transport hubs such as airports and bus terminals.
The second stage of the project will cover EDSA from Cubao to North Avenue, and from Guadalupe to Taft Avenue. This is expected to be operational before the President's State of the Nation Address in July.
This will also make the street level of EDSA running alongside the MRT rails a continuous high speed Wi-Fi zone.
The third and last stage will cover the entire stretch of EDSA, outside the reach of MRT, from MOA to Balintawak. This is expected to be completed by the end of August 2017.
DICT, meanwhile, assured the public that private information is safe and secured with the public Wi-Fi. The agency added that proxy sites and other illegal websites are not allowed.