BroadBand ng Masa


Anna Mae Lamentillo

The goal of bringing internet connectivity to the different communities in the country, especially in far-flung areas, is gaining headway under the Department of Information and Communications Technology’s BroadBand ng Masa (BBM) program that is anchored on the “Build Better More” thrust of President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.

At present, there are 4,757 free Wi-Fi sites in 17 regions, 75 provinces and Metro Manila, and 606 cities and municipalities nationwide, including those at the geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas (GIDAs), such as Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, and Pag-asa Island in Kalayaan Group of Islands.

Among the recent beneficiaries of the free Wi-Fi project are three far-flung islands in Zamboanga City — Sacol, which is five kilometers away from Zamboanga City’s mainland, and two more nearby islands, Tigtabon and Pangapuyan.

DICT Secretary Ivan John Uy led the launching of these free Wi-Fi sites, which include four sites in Sacol Island, namely, Madrasah, Landang Laum Elementary School, Landang Laum Barangay Hall, and Landang Gua Elementary School; two sites in Pangapuyan, namely, Pangapuyan Elementary School and Pangapuyan Barangay Hall; and one in Tigtabon, at the Tigtabon Barangay Hall.

To test the accomplishments of the program, the DICT organized a BroadBand ng Masa Zoom event last Dec. 24. Beneficiaries of the BBM program were surprised when their “online kamustahan” with Secretary Uy included a very special guest, no less than President Bongbong Marcos.

Among the BBM program beneficiaries who participated in the “online kamustahan” were students, teachers and school representatives from Amai Pakpak Central Elementary School (Marawi City), Armenia Elementary School (Masbate), Bandera Elementary School (Samal Island), Dinganen-Buldon National High School (Maguindanao), Villa Espina Elementary School (Lopez, Quezon), Sultan Barira National High School (Maguindanao), Balabac District (Palawan), Dioriong Integrated School (Quirino), Leyte National Senior High School (Tacloban, Leyte), Matanog National High School (Maguindanao), Sacol Island (Zamboanga City), Mangsee National High School (Balabac, Palawan), and Pagasa Island (Kalayaan, Palawan).

The President was happy to see that internet connectivity is being spread throughout the archipelago by the DICT. He stressed that this is only the start of the BroadBand ng Masa Program, which aims to provide fast, free and reliable internet connection especially in remote and far-flung provinces to enable all Filipinos to connect with families, friends and colleagues from virtually anywhere in the Philippines.
In 2023, the DICT targets the completion of Broadband ng Masa’s Luzon Bypass Infrastructure (LBI) Phase

  1. Moreover, 15,834 free Wi-Fi sites are targeted to be launched for 2023 in public places, and 100,000 sites are expected to be made operational by 2025 through the integration of the Provincial Infrastructure Network and Last Mile Connectivity, and the NBP backhaul.

To complement the broadband connection, the DICT also provides additional support, including providing tablets to public schools, and conducting trainings on internet literacy. In areas with limited or no access to power, the project includes the installation of solar and gas-powered generators.

This is just the beginning of the BroadBand ng Masa program. The DICT’s commitment is to provide fast and reliable free internet connectivity throughout the country, especially in hard-to-reach areas, to bring into fruition President Bongbong Marcos’ vision of universal connectivity and a truly digital Philippines.