Oreta: Free Wi-Fi for Malabonians

March 03, 2019

FREE Wi-Fi access will soon be all over public places in Malabon.

Mayor Antolin A. Oreta III said he is determined to continue coordinating with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) for the realization of the plan for free Wi-Fi, adding that internet access is very vital in accelerating economic, social and educational opportunities for every Malabonian.

Internet access in public places in the city has been set for implementation, adhering to earlier agreement between the city mayor and the DICT to make a public Wi-Fi system operational in the city.

Republic Act 10929 or the Free Internet Access in Public Places Act proposes to establish free Wi-Fi hotspots in public places nationwide including public hospitals and health centers, transport terminals, government offices, public education institutions and libraries, parks and plazas” and other significant public activity areas.

The two-year-old national policy has previously been allocated P1.6 billion to pilot 1,435 localities that include 14 major cities throughout the archipelago.

According to DICT Secretary Eliseo Rio, 6,881 free Wi-Fi hotspot sites were targeted to be functional by end of 2018.

The official, however attribute the lag in implementation to local telecommunication companies’ inability to provide Wi-Fi hotpots with sufficient bandwidth in public places.

The government has geared on seeking help of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in bringing in foreign companies and technology, to keep the program on track this year.

Tripartite agreements have also been done with Facebook and the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) to put up two cable landing stations to be owned by the government, as well as with TransCo and the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) to use the almost 6,200 kilometers of dark fiber of the national electric grid as backbone of the National Broadband Plan that will be extensively used in the free WiFi program.

Malabon has initially identified 27 sites prioritizing health center vicinities, of which 16 are ongoing service installation processes.

We Are I.T. Philippines, Inc. has already mounted a pole mast and IP radio equipment on Malabon City Hall Building just recently.

Even prior to the free Wi-Fi act, locally funded free internet hotspot was already available at Malabon City Hall for public use.