DOST inks co-location deal with PTV to boost free Wi-Fi project

The ICT Office of the Department of Science and Technology has forged an agreement with People’s Television (PTV) network for a 25-year co-location deal to improve the government’s free Wi-Fi program.

The government's free Wi-Fi project was piloted in this public plaza in Tubigon, Bohol

The government’s free Wi-Fi project was piloted in this public plaza in Tubigon, Bohol

“This is a welcome development in the government’s aim to reach Filipinos all over the country,” said Presidential Communications Operations Office secretary Sonny Coloma.

Coloma explained that “through the DOST’s properties, we will be able to install additional transmitters to boost the government channel’s presence in the countryside, while also supporting their free Wi-Fi program.”

The agreement indicates that the government station will occupy spaces on ICT Office’s broadcast-ready offices and buildings in Cebu and in least 11 other cities in Visayas and Mindanao.

The DOST agency will then install Wi-Fi transceivers on PTV’s broadcast towers, effectively boosting the reach of its free Wi-Fi project especially in third to sixth class municipalities in the country.

PTV and the ICT Office’s collaboration, which also extends the government station’s reach, entails no cost for both parties.

The deal comes amid the government network’s five-year modernization plan to put the network “at par with the leading commercial television stations in the country in terms of capabilities and equipment.”

PTV started its modernization plan in 2014 with a P759-million capital expenditure budget from the General Appropriations Act, with migrating from an analog to digital broadcast system as its priority.

In 2015, the network will procure additional digital equipment and acquire additional lots for establishment of digital transmitting stations.

The deal with DOST gives the network some savings from its 2015 capital expenditure of P892 million.

From 20%, PTV’s digital upgrade would improve the signal reach to 80-90% of television viewers in the country — an audience which the network sees will benefit from its upcoming improvements such as on-demand information consumption and the Emergency Warning Broadcast System. — PIA

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