BatStateU signs up PLDT, Smart to build ‘smart university’

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PLDT and its wireless unit Smart Communications have signed an agreement with Batangas State University (BatStateU) to provide connectivity solutions to the institution’s students and faculty.

By the fourth quarter of the year, Smart WiFi will be rolled out across the eight campuses of BatStateU located in Nasugbu, Alangilan, Lemery, Lipa, Rosario, Pablo Borbon, Malvar, and Balayan in anticipation of the resumption of in-person instruction.

The school administration is designing a blended learning approach in which half of the classes will be conducted virtually, while the other half will be held face-to-face.

“In preparation for the return of our students to school, this free WiFi service is a significant addition to our existing bandwidth capacity. Not only that, it also addresses the challenge of connecting the many different campuses of Batangas State University in the midst of the New Normal,” said BatStateU president Tirso A. Ronquillo, who also authored the program Building Research and Innovation Development Goals for Engineering SUCs (BRIDGES). 

Ronquillo represented BatStateU at the virtual contract signing together with VP for development and external Affairs Noel Omandap and director for ICT Services Joselito Santos. The BatStateU officials were joined by PLDT and Smart representatives led by Smart FVP and Luzon regional head for consumer sales Group John Y. Palanca, VP and head of consumer WiFi and mobile advertising Nikko Galvez, and AVP and head of community solutions and business development Pedro Luis de Guzman.

BatStateU has previously partnered with Smart through its Smart Wireless Engineering Education Program (SWEEP), an initiative that aims to produce industry-ready graduates and technopreneurs through a series of technology trainings, online courses, and an annual innovations competition for students. 

Citing a report by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) early this year, Palanca said that about four out of 10 Filipino students lack either the technology or the device needed for distance learning.

“Smart aims to avert such learning crises by investing in projects that narrow the digital divide and by partnering with learning institutions such as BatStateU to create a connected society on an equal ground,” he said. 

Omandap the present situation demands the availability of a strong and secure Internet connectivity to accommodate alternative work arrangements and flexible learning. 

“Reliable Internet connectivity not only benefits all our stakeholders but also further capacitates our efforts to connect the BatStateU community over the existing means that we have. It is our privilege to be your partner in promoting ‘Smart universities’ across the country. In this regard, BatStateU is one with Smart in leading and inspiring young Filipinos to create a better tomorrow as we lead innovations and transform lives,” he said.

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