DICT Secretary Honasan urged to fast-track free WI-FI program

Senators Sonny Angara and Ralph Recto is urging their former colleague in Senate, now Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Secretary Gregorio Honasan to fast-track the implementation of the Nationwide Free Public Internet Access Program authorized under Republic Act 10929.

“The government has appropriated almost P8 billion since the project’s inception in 2015,” Senator Recto said. “As of June 2019, only 2,677 sites have been made operational, out of the cumulative target of 34,236 sites by end of the year.”

“If this pace will not accelerate, the target of installing 100,349 sites by 2026 will be impossible to meet,” Recto noted.

Under RA10929, public areas such as state universities and colleges (SUCs), town halls, airports and other transportation terminals will be installed with free WI-FI hotspots.

Senator Angara is pushing for the prioritization of SUCs. He noted that out of the country’s 112 SUCs, only 17 have been installed free Wi-Fi hotspots as of December 2018, based on DICT data submitted to the Senate during the hearings for the 2019 national budget.

“That’s a low 15 percent accomplishment rate,” Angara said. “These institutions of higher learning are supposed to be priority areas in the roll-out plan but it appears that they have become last-mile targets.”

“At hindi lang siguro yung setting up ng free Wi-Fi ang pabilisin pero yung internet speed na rin,” he added.