DICT warns against abusing free WiFi service

Jekki Pascual, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 05 2023 02:46 PM

MANILA -- Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Secretary Ivan John Uy on Sunday warned the public to use the government's free WiFi services properly.

At the sidelines of the launch of the "Broadband ng Masa" at the University of Antique, Uy said the public must not abuse the free WiFi program or DICT will be forced to put in restrictions on its usage.

He said, for now Filipinos can use the 'Broadband ng Masa' sites unlimited for free, but if they find irregularities in the usage, they may put a cap on it.

"Huwag abusuhin po dahil kung masyadong maraming naka-connect at puro nagda-download ng movies, syempre babagal 'yun, maaapektuhan ang ibang gagamit diyan," said Uy.

(Do not abuse the free WiFi because if too much people are connected to it and are all downloading movies, of course it will slow down and affect other users.)

He added: "Kung matino naman gumagamit, walang nang-aabuso, siguro hindi natin kailangan ilagay ang mga safeguards na 'yan, pero kung ma-monitor naman ay 'teka puro e-sabong ang ginagawa nitong mga koneksyon na ito' dapat mag-intervene tayo."

(If no one is abusing the free WiFi, maybe we don't have to implement these safeguards but if we monitor and found out that a lot of the users are just using it for 'e-sabong,' we have to intervene.)

Among the possible interventions are placing a limit on the number of hours of usage per day per person, or limiting the size of data per day per person.

Uy said they will also block porn sites and gambling sites.

The "Broadband ng Masa," referred to as "BBM" by the DICT, is a rebrand of the National Broadband Plan.

It aims to install WiFi sites across the country, particularly in remote areas.

This service was launched in Antique, Friday in cooperation with Senator Loren Legarda and the local government units of the province.

About 150 barangays will be having free WiFi sites this year.

Legarda, who paved the way for the budget allocation for the project, said, "It will allow families access to information, virtual health and education platforms, and government services that are available online."

Uy asserted the use of the free WiFi program must be mostly for educational purposes or if one wants to showcase their businesses to the world.