The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is looking to give Internet access to 99 % of the Philippine archipelago by 2016.

The Department believes that maximizing the tons of opportunities on the web could play a vital role in speeding up economic progress, specifically in the underserved and unserved areas.

This was shared by DOST Secretary Mario G. Montejo during the official launch of the Free Wi-Fi Internet Access in Public Places project of the Department on the opening day of the 2015 National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) last July 24, 2015 at SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.

The project targets to provide Internet connectivity services in 967 Class 3, 4, 5,and 6 municipalities and key cities nationwide. This will be made available in public places such as parks, plazas, schools, rural health units and government hospitals.

“Free Wi-Fi Internet Access in Public Places strives to enable Filipinos to harness the vast potential and benefits of having consistent Internet connectivity to improve their lives and assist in bringing the country toward progress,” Montejo said.

First of all, Internet connection is capable of opening new markets for micro, small, and medium enterprises. It can also help the Mang Juans and Aling Marias who live in far-flung areas to reach basic government services. In addition, Internet connectivity also helps improve education, emphasized Montejo.

Alpha Launch System

Last July 22, areas in Quezon City and Manila started to get free Internet access. This is part of an alpha launch test of Free Wi-Fi Internet Access in Public Places to help DOST’s Information and Communications Technology Office (ICT Office), organizer of the project launch, to assess the system and make the necessary adjustments before rolling out the project on a larger scale.

These places are the Quezon City Memorial Circle, Quezon City Hall, PHILCOA, Social Security System, and LTO in Quezon City and Rizal Park in Manila.

ICT Office expected a maximum number of 4,550 concurrent Internet users for the recent pilot test, but is prepared to provide for and maintain the speed and connection quality for up to 117,000 users by the second quarter of 2016.

The network will implement a blacklist system to block potentially harmful and destructive websites to keep information secure. (S&T Media Service)