P2.4B Allotted for Free WiFi Hotspots Nationwide

Published October 5, 2020, 9:37 AM

by Robert "Bob" Reyes

Another PHP2.4 billion will be allotted by the government in 2021 to put up thousands of new free WiFi hotspot locations according to Makati City 2nd District Representative Luis Campos, Jr., who is also the Vice-Chairperson of the House Appropriations Committee.

This fresh allocation for the Free Internet WiFi Connectivity in Public Places Project is lodged under the Department of Information and Communications Technology’s (DICT) budget for 2021, according to the gentleman from the country’s financial capital.

“Additional password-free WiFi hotspots will be installed in public parks, plazas, libraries, and barangay reading centers. The target sites also include public transport terminals, airports and seaports, public hospitals, rural health units, and barangay health centers,” according to Congressman Campos.

Free Internet access points will likewise be put up in local government offices and in the training centers of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

“Since 2017, Congress has authorized an aggregate of PHP4.4 billion in appropriations for the installation of free Wi-Fi hotspots across the country, without counting the PHP2.4 billion provision for 2021,” Congressman Campos added.

The representative of the country’s wealthiest city has been pushing for the passage of a bill seeking to define high-speed Internet connection as a basic telecommunications service to which every Filipino has a right of access. Once the measure is enacted, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) shall be empowered to compel private Internet Service Providers (ISP) to deliver better connection speeds to their subscribers within prescribed deadlines, otherwise they will be faced with harsh regulatory fines.