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Anna Mae Yu Lamentillo

Apr 7, 2023

Wi-Fi in every barangay

In line with President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s directive to provide digital connectivity across the various islands of the country, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), under the leadership of Secretary Ivan John Uy, is working double time to build and improve the country’s digital infrastructure.

The DICT will expand connectivity in the underserved and unserved areas, and will ensure that accessible, fast, reliable, and affordable internet is made available to every Filipino.

Many still lack access to internet connectivity and devices. In the 2019 National Information and Communications Technology Household Survey (NICTHS) done by the DICT together with the Philippine Statistical Research and Training Institute (PSRTI), it showed that 48 percent of individuals use the internet, but only 18 percent of households have access to it.

The Luzon Bypass Infrastructure (LBI) is one of the major projects of DICT that will not only ensure that accessible, fast, reliable, and affordable internet is made available to every Filipino, but also for the government to improve its productivity and the efficient delivery of public services through e-governance.

LBI is a 240-kilometer fiber corridor connecting the western and eastern modular information technology facilities. The two cable landing stations, which are located in Baler and Poro Point, will increase total government capacity to 2,000,000 MBPS, which is 50 times the current government capacity of only 40,000 MBPS. The LBI Phase 1 is expected to reach completion in 2023.

Moreover, to ensure connectivity in the different islands and in all barangays in the country, including those in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas (GIDAs), DICT is fast tracking the provision of free Wi-Fi connection in public places.

Under the Broadband ng Masa Program, the DICT has activated more than 4,000 free Wi-Fi sites in 17 regions, 75 provinces, and the National Capital Region. Among the most recent are in the Province of Antique—where free Wi-Fi sites were activated in one barangay and five campuses of the University of Antique (UA); and in Davao City—where two Wi-Fi sites are now operational in the University of Southeastern Philippines (USEP) Barrio Obrero Campus, while 22 more sites are expected to be installed in Davao Region.

GIDA sites in Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Pag-asa Island in the Kalayaan Group of Islands, and in three far-flung islands in Zamboanga City now also have free internet connection through the BroadBand ng Masa Program.

The DICT aims to expand the reach of the program and provide internet connectivity to every barangay in the country as part of efforts to ensure digital inclusion.

While the task may be daunting, it is imperative that we bridge the digital divide. The importance of digital connectivity cannot be overemphasized. Rural communities can have better quality of life through access to internet connectivity.

The improvement and upgrade of the country’s digital infrastructure has been a top concern of President Marcos, and the DICT is working hard to ensure that Filipinos in every barangay in the country will have access to affordable and reliable internet connectivity.

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