June 21, 2024

The city expects to have improved Internet connectivity by the second quarter of 2021 with the rollout of free public Wi-Fi (wireless fidelity) and the establishment of the Baguio City broadband network.

In a recent press conference held after the signing of a memorandum of agreement between the city government and the Department of Information and Communications Technology, Mayor Benjamin Magalong said better Internet connectivity would be partially experienced in the second quarter of 2021 and fully enjoyed by early 2022.

Magalong said the city, in partnership with three private companies, is currently laying down optic cable lines, which would serve as distribution lines that would connect villages and the residential areas to the provider.

“It will take us probably more than a year to lay-out, connect everything from La Trinidad to John Hay, and connect to distribution lines here in Baguio,” Magalong said. “We are ready. It’s just a matter of activating that National Grid Corporation of the Philippines line, which according to the DICT, will be ready by the second quarter next year.”

The activation will allow the city’s distribution lines to connect to it, ready for partial use.

DICT Secretary Gregorio Honasan II said they are laying down “future-proofing” mechanisms to assure that changes in leadership locally and nationally would not affect the implementation of the country’s broadband project.

“We are future-proofing programs to assure that changes in leadership will not affect the current digitalization program of the government by engraving the programs in stone through memoranda of understanding and MOAs,” Honasan said.

He said the government is not financially capable of providing all with Internet, considering its limited resources, but they are partnering with local government units and private entities in carrying out the programs.

DICT Assistant Secretary Emmanuel Rey Caintic said as of Sept. 9, the Free Wi-Fi for All project of the government has provided connectivity to 5,046 sites, now serving five million people.

Caintic said the connections have been provided to government hospitals and rural health units; national and local government offices; public libraries; public parks, plazas, and other open areas; public schools; state universities and colleges and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority institutions; and transport terminals. – PNA