DICT to offer free WiFi to 2,000 more far flung areas

Jekki Pascual, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 21 2023 04:01 PM

MANILA - The Department of Information and Communications Technology is adding more remote areas to the government's free WiFi program, with the help of ComClark Network and Technology Corp which is the parent company of Converge ICT.

At the launch and ceremonial equipment turnover, DICT Secretary Ivan John Uy said the partnership will provide internet to 2,000 geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas across the country. 

This is part of the DICT's project to bring internet connectivity to more Filipinos, which is estimated to cost P1.1 billion.

"Bringing internet access to areas that have long been underserved particularly in remote regions where connectivity has remained more than an aspiration than a reality," said ComClark COO Benedicto Bulatao.

Fixed VSATS or satellite dish will be deployed, as well as 'satellite-on-the-move' terminals which can be used during disasters. A massive 145-gigabit bandwidth capacity was allocated for this project.

Uy said together with other partners, they hope to hit 15,000 free WiFi access points across the country this year and add another 25,000 next year.

The project was laid out despite a possible smaller budget next year for DICT and the cutting of the agency's proposed P300-million confidential fund at the Senate budget hearing.

"Biggest challenge is mauubos pondo by June siguro. We may have to ask for a supplemental budget," said Uy.

He added, "We work with whatever is given to us. It will be very challenging. We'll see how far we can go with that kind of limitation in terms of our budget."

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