By Adrian M. Reodique
June 13, 2017
The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) led the inauguration of the EDSA Wi-Fi project yesterday (12 June 2017), which aims to provide free internet access to commuters along the Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA).
The first phase of the project started operations yesterday, and will cover all 13 stations of the MRT from North Avenue in Quezon City to Taft Avenue in Pasay City. Commuters along EDSA can also enjoy free internet service while travelling from Cubao to Guadalupe.
The EDSA Wi-Fi project is in collaboration with Globe Telecom and PLDT. Users can get free access to internet for 30 minutes per provider.
"We work to give Filipinos access to the information and technology that they need in their daily lives. EDSA Wi-Fi will benefit the hundreds of thousands of commuters along EDSA daily," said DICT Secretary Rodolfo A. Salalima.
The EDSA Wi-Fi project also follows the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte to provide free internet access in public places nationwide, he added.
Meanwhile, the second phase of the project will provide free internet service from Cubao to North Avenue, and from Guadalupe to Taft Avenue at the street level. DICT said they aim to complete this before President Duterte's State of the Nation Address (SONA) on 24 July 2017.
In addition, the last phase will cover the other parts of EDSA from the Mall of Asia to Balintawak. This is scheduled to be completed by end of August 2017.
"We at PLDT and Smart are happy to support this DICT initiative which will benefit the public immensely. This is in line with our firm commitment to build cutting-edge digital infrastructure that will help power the country's development and enrich the lives of our people," said Manuel V. Pangilinan, chairman and CEO of PLDT and Smart.
"Globe is committed to improve the state of internet in the Philippines by continuously rolling out the needed infrastructure to ensure that our customers are always connected. In September 2016, we completed the deployment of GoWiFi in all 13 MRT stations to provide free high speed internet access to the commuting public. Today, we are supporting the efforts of the government who is tapping our Go WiFi facilities for the EDSA WiFi project to achieve the same goal of one digital nation," said Ernest Cu, president and CEO of Globe.
Other projects to be launched
DICT is also set to unveil the National Broadband Plan (NBP) on 23 June 2017, as well as reintroduce its free Wi-Fi project called Pipol Konek, and launch the National Government Portal or the gov.ph.
President Duterte approved the creation of the NBP in March. The plan will provide the blueprint for a broadband infrastructure, which will interconnect government offices across the Philippines and provide telco services in the countryside that currently have no access to the internet.