THE Department of Science and Technology (DOST) plans to set up Internet access in public places within the year.
DOST Secretary Marion Montejo told the Science Nation Tour press conference in Davao City Friday P1.4 billion has been allocated for the project.
"We are optimistic that we will be able to implement it within the year, most likely at the second half of this year," Montejo said.
The project covers third to sixth class municipalities as part of government efforts to provide more Filipinos Internet access.
According to the terms of reference (TOR), "the project will serve 105,000 concurrent users with 256 kbps each, which is the lowest prevailing speed requirement for broadband service."
The project will use a Next Generation Hotspot (NGH) or Hotspot 2.0 technology "to promote a ubiquitous information communication technology (ICT) environment, the efficient use of private and public sector investments, and a more competitive ICT ecosystem."
It will be implemented in three phases. All metropolitan areas will have free access by the sixth month and the rest of the project areas by the 11th month.
Alimbzar Asum, DOST cluster director for DOST-Information and Communications Technology Office (ICTO), said they will first set up free wi-fi access in elementary and secondary public schools, terminals, ports, and plazas.
The project will also cover public libraries, rural health units and government hospitals, state universities and colleges, train stations of the MRT and LRT systems, airports and seaports, city and municipal halls, and national government offices.
"There are studies that show, if you improve internet connectivity will result to a growth in gross domestic product," Montejo said.