DICT taps Converge to bring free Wi-Fi in Ilocos, La Union towns

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Photo shows (from left) Mary Jane Nerona, DICT Region 1 OIC; Reynaldo T. Sy, DICT head of the procuring entity, and DICT Region 1 director; Evangeline Aquino, Converge enterprise public sector unit head; and Jonathan Arenas, Converge key account manager

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has tapped Converge ICT Solutions to bring free public Wi-Fi in Ilocos and La Union municipalities.

The DICT awarded Converge the contract to supply free Wi-Fi connectivity to 36 municipal sites in Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte and four municipal sites in La Union. The parties did not disclose the terms of the deal.

The department has activated over 4,000 free Wi-Fi stations in 17 regions, 75 provinces, and the National Capital Region (NCR) under the Free WiFi for All Program.

Reynaldo T. Sy, DICT Regional Office 1 director, expressed his gratitude and optimism about the partnership with Converge ICT Solutions: “This partnership will enable us to provide fast and reliable internet connectivity to all Local Government Units (LGU) in the provinces of Ilocos Sur, La Union, and Ilocos Norte Second District. We believe that this project will help us bridge the digital divide and empower our citizens to stay connected, access vital information, and participate in the digital economy.”

Many Filipinos continue to lack access to Internet connectivity and gadgets. According to the DICT’s 2019 National Information and Communications Technology Household Survey (NICTHS), conducted in collaboration with the Philippine Statistical Research and Training Institute (PSRTI), 48 percent of Filipinos consistently use the Internet, while only 18 percent of homes have access to it.

Converge is investing heavily in its digital infrastructure through the SEA-H2X Submarine Cable System and the trans-Pacific Bifrost Cable System to reach the unserved and underserved in the country.

Both cable systems aim to provide consumers and businesses in the Philippines with network diversity in the coming years.

“Converge has been hard at work fast-tracking the layout of our fiber optic cables across the country to reach geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas (GIDAs). Internet use has been integral in our everyday lives as well as the economic growth of our country, and we remain committed to working hand in hand with the Philippine government to fiber-power each Filipino household and business,” Jesus C. Romero, Converge COO, said.