DICT links up with UNDP to accelerate free Wi-Fi rollout

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The Department of Information and Communications Technology and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have formalized their partnership to fast-track the rollout of the government?s free Wi-Fi Internet access project.

DICT acting secretary Eliseo M. Rio Jr.

A signing ceremony led by DICT acting secretary Eliseo M. Rio Jr. and UNDP Philippine Country Office resident representative Titon Mitra was held on Friday, March 22.

?Today as we set to seal this meeting of minds, the Department is optimistic that our goals of providing free Internet access and promoting knowledge-building among our citizens will soon be realized,? Rio said.

The DICT sought the assistance of UNDP last year, not only to expedite the rollout of Free Wi-Fi but also to aid in the capacity-building initiatives of stakeholders involved in project management. UNDP was also involved in the exploration of international partners through proposed convergence initiatives.

?Access to the internet is access to services and information. UNDP is pleased to assist DICT to meet the national objective of bridging the digital divide and leaving no one behind,” Mitra said.

Preceding the signing, Jonathan Hodder, Governance Specialist from UNDP discussed the key challenges experienced by the organization in the past, such as the need to strengthen coordination with national and local government agencies as well as procurement difficulties.

The Pipol Konek Project will address the challenges identified through various workshops and consultative meetings. DICT and UNDP will take charge of the project oversight, trickling down operational functions to NGA, CSO, and LGU partners.

Following this project document signing, UNDP will conduct area-based network analysis of target sites, oversee monitoring of project impact, and continue to provide technical training to achieve the expected outputs.

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