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DICT expands provision of free public Wi-Fi internet access to Camarines Sur

An announcement made by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) featured Camarines Sur and how DICT’s initiative, Pipol Konek, Free Wi-Fi Internet Access in Public Places Project, has installed hotspots in 19 of its municipalities.

Camarines Sur Governor Miguel Villafuerte announced on Wednesday, 23 May 2018, that because of Pipol Konek, Camarines Sur now has free Wi-Fi Internet access in its public places. This initiative has given internet access to more than half of the municipalities of the said province.

Camarines Sur, the province with hotspots installed in 19 of its municipality, is now the province with the highest number of towns connected to the Internet provided by the DICT.

One of the main initiatives of the DICT aims to provide free Internet connectivity in public places such as public schools, hospitals, libraries, parks, and transport hubs. Its objective is to connect the unconnected. Hence, DICT rolled out Pipol Konek, the Free Wi-Fi Internet Access in Public Places Project.

“We aim to reach out those in the unserved and underserved areas in the country,” Project Manager Eric Toledo said. The Department prioritises the Class 3 to 6 municipalities, followed by Class 1 to 2 municipalities and the cities, he added.

Philippine municipalities are divided into six main classes according to their average annual income during the last four fiscal years. These are:

(1)    First class – municipalities that have obtained an average total revenue of Philippine Pesos (Php) 1.5 million or more per annum.

(2)    Second class – municipalities that have obtained an average total revenue of Php 1 million or more but less than Php 1.5 million per annum.

(3)    Third class – municipalities that have obtained an average total revenue of Php 500,000 or more but less than Php 1 million per annum.

(4)    Fourth class – municipalities that have obtained an average total revenue of Php 300,000 or more but less than Php 500,000 per annum.

(5)    Fifth class – municipalities that have obtained an average total revenue of Php 100,000 or more but less than Php 300,000 per annum.

(6)    Sixth class – municipalities that have obtained an average total revenue of less than Php 100,000 per annum.

Pipol Konek now has a total of 1,347 hotspots nationwide since its official roll-out in 2016. Because of this, Filipinos can now take advantage and gain free access to the Internet while on the go at any time of the day, allowing opportunities for online education, knowledge management, and careers that are beneficial for the citizens as well as national growth.

Free internet connectivity has been provided to a number of different sites because of the installed hotspots. As of now, a total of 4,568 public schools; 3,173 public parks and plazas; 2,277 government hospitals and RHUs; 677 public libraries; 1,557 national and local government offices; 682 state universities and colleges; and 90 seaports, airports and train stations. 

Pipol Konek is being recognized internationally because of its strong contribution to societal development. It was one of the finalists in the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS 2018) of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

WSIS Prize is an international recognition of individuals, governments, civil society, local, regional, international agencies, research institutions and private sector companies in their outstanding success to develop and implement strategies to maximise ICTs for societal development.

Just recently, it is also nominated in the International Data Corporation’s Smart City Asia Pacific Awards (SCAPA) 2018, an Asia Pacific-wide competition which recognizes initiatives that employ ICT in the development of smarter and more digitally empowered locales across the region.

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