The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) is set to activate 20 free Wi-Fi sites in Isabela and Lamitan in Basilan on Monday, June 30, as part of the government’s “Free Wi-Fi for All Program”.
Aside from providing free Internet access, the Wi-Fi sites are also expected to provide access to ICT infrastructure and information systems to the communities, promote the use of ICT to improve delivery of critical government services, and provide a lower entry barrier for new Internet users, among others.
The DICT said its Mindanao Cluster 1 (DICT-MC1) overcame a series of bidding failures before the project came to fruition. This was made possible by the cluster’s move to harness existing resources, manpower, and by partnering with local stakeholders.
“By way of background, the initiative commenced in December 2019 where a backhaul link from Zamboanga City was installed to connect Isabela City, Basilan. Our technical team mounted a 33-meter guyed-trylon tower inside the premise of DICT Basilan Office and installed an AirFiber 5U IP Radio facing Zamboanga City. This tower serves as the Hub for connecting the free Wi-Fi beneficiary sites. In January 2020, the same was also done in Lamitan City with the support of the LGU,” DICT-MC1 director Maria Teresa M. Camba narrated.
The launch event will be hosted by DICT-MC1 and will be livestreamed at the DICT’s official Facebook page. It is part of this year’s observance of the National ICT Month with the theme “Maximizing ICT for the New Normal.”
“We cannot emphasize further the importance of connectivity and access, especially amid the health crisis we are in. It has become the lifeblood of our society, providing a sense of normalcy in our lives. And with that, it is your DICT’s duty to ensure the whole country is afforded this right, including the remotest part of the country. It is our duty to ensure the country safely transition to the new normal,” DICT secretary Gregorio B. Honasan II said.
The following are the sites to be launched.