THE Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) 7 launched two free Wi-Fi zones at Ramos Public Market and Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) in Cebu City on Monday, Oct. 14, 2019.
The launching was done to increase economic activity in the market and to connect patients of VSMMC to their loved ones. Bandwidth was provided to these areas by the DICT 7.
“If you are in a public hospital, you normally don’t have your family beside you. Talking to your loved ones in times of sickness is very important. And that is one kind of relief we would like to offer,” said DICT Assistant Secretary Felino Castro V.
The DICT is planning to connect all 81 provinces in the country, and there is an ongoing implementation of other Wi-Fi sites in the grassroots level in Cebu.
Castro said the DICT decided to start its project in Cebu in collaboration with the local government of Cebu and the private sector’s support. The DICT has a “Free Wi-Fi For All” program; it intends to roll out free Wi-Fi access points in public places, including the barangays.
At the Ramos Public Market and VSMMC, the public can access the internet through the “freewifi4all” network, which can carry hundreds of online users.
Castro said Cebu’s Information and Communications Technology Council and the private sector made it easy for the DICT 7 to put up free Wi-Fi sites.
The Wi-Fi zones at Ramos Public Market and VSMMC are active for 24 hours everyday. The internet can be accessed within 50 meters of the market and hospital’s premises.
In Cebu Province, there are 146 active sites, while 410 are still under construction. A total of 556 Wi-Fi sites are targeted to be finished by the end of 2019.
Castro said the DICT is facing challenges in the availability of infrastructures.
“We have limited service providers in the areas. That’s the reason why the government is collaborating with our partners, even the electric cooperatives. We are talking to them in rolling out fiber and installing wireless radios. We’re even talking to the private sector telcos that they provide free Wi-Fi for all,” he said. (JOB)