POOR municipalities can look forward to free internet connection under the Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) Internet for All program.

Nestor Bongato, chairman of the Sub-Sectoral Committee on Communications and Regional Director of the DOST’s Information and Communications Technology Office Luzon Cluster, briefed members of the Regional Development Council’s Infrastructure Development Committee-Sub-Committee on Communication on the free wi-fi project.

The DOST plans to create free wi-fi “hotspots” in town plazas, transport terminals, libraries, municipal halls, hospital lobbies, national government agencies, public parks and local government unit offices.

P1.408 billion has been allocated for the project in the 2015 General Appropriations Act  is, Bongato said. 

Internet connectivity and wi-fi hotspots will be sourced from the internet service providers. In areas with no broadband connectivity or infrastructure, the DOST will use TV White Space technology, utilizing vacant frequencies located between broadcast TV channels to provide wireless data connectivity to remote communities in the country.

Once fully deployed, the network will serve 105,000 concurrent users at 256 kbps each, which is the lowest prevailing speed requirement for broadband service. (Maria Aprila Cruz)