Despite the approval of the Free Internet Access in Public Places Act, only 945 public basic education schools or about two percent of public schools nationwide have free public Wi-Fi as of January 29, 2022. Meanwhile, there are at least only 10 reputable higher education institutions offering distance education despite the passage of the Open Distance Learning Act.
To ensure that Filipinos have access to accurate and up-to-date information in the midst of the Covid-19 community quarantine, wireless operators Smart Communications and Globe Telecom have deployed free WiFi connectivity in hospitals and transport hubs.
The program has been plagued by delays even if the government has appropriated almost P8 billion since the project's inception in 2015. As of June 2019, only 2,677 sites have been made operational, out of the cumulative target of 34,236 sites by end of the year.
Saying only 2 of 112 SUCs are enjoying free Wi-Fi, Angara said he is expecting DICT acting secretary Eliseo Rio to explain before the Senate the cause of delay, and the steps being undertaken to fast-track its implementation.