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6 sites in Antique gain access to free Wi-Fi


Last March 3, six sites in the Province of Antique gained access to the government’s Free Wi-Fi Program as the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) officially launched its flagship program, Broadband ng Masa, in the province.


DICT Secretary Ivan John Uy and Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda, the principal author of Republic Act No. 10844 that created the DICT, led the program launch which saw the simultaneous activation of the Free Wi-Fi sites in Barangay Calo-oy and in five campuses of the University of Antique (UA), namely Sibalom Campus, Tario Lim Memorial Campus, Libertad Campus, Caluya Campus, and Hamtic Campus.


The event also included the ceremonial signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to launch E-governance in the 18 municipalities of the province.


Secretary Uy announced that this is only the beginning, because a total of 150 sites will be activated across the province. This initiative will expand the reach of Broadband ng Masa and will boost the nation’s connectivity.


He also emphasized that with improved internet connectivity and E-governance measures, services can be implemented more efficiently and with ease, and government processes and transactions will be more interconnected, transparent, and citizen-centric.


For her part, Senator Legarda highlighted the importance of ICT infrastructure, systems, and resources to ensure universal access to quality, affordable, and secure ICT services. She joined the launching ceremony to promote accessible internet in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas (GIDAs), while addressing connectivity challenges in her home province of Antique.


The mother of DICT also said that through her strengthened collaboration with the DICT, she will help other provinces in the country to avail of the Broadband ng Masa program, as she emphasized that, “Access to the internet not only connects people, but also empowers citizens.”


Secretary Uy confirmed that the DICT will expand this initiative to benefit other parts of the country in the succeeding months. This aligns with the Marcos administration’s strong stand that connectivity, and ultimately digital transformation, is a key agenda for the Philippines in the next six years. The DICT’s Free Wi-Fi program intends to provide broadband connectivity in all parts of the country, particularly the unserved and underserved areas. The provision of free Wi-Fi is complemented by trainings to improve digital literacy, as well as the provision of tablets and solar and gas-powered generators, whichever is needed by the community.


As of December 2022, there are already 4,385 live and operational Free Wi-Fi sites covering 73 provinces and 601 cities and municipalities including Metro Manila. The DICT’s aim is to have more than 15,000 Free Wi-Fi sites in public places for 2023, and 100,000 sites are expected to be made operational by 2025.


In bringing internet connectivity to the different communities and islands in the country, the DICT’s goal is to give hope and actual opportunities to Filipinos to have a better life by being digitally connected.

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