UNDP, DICT and PLDT launch free Wi-Fi for 220 public colleges and universities

BULACAN—The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP)-Philippines recently activated 1,000 free Wi-Fi hotspots in 220 public educational institutions Higher Education (EES) nationwide.

The hotspots were installed and deployed with the support of PLDT.

The milestone, led by Acting ICT Secretary Emmanuel Rey R. Caintic and UNDP Resident Representative in the Philippines, Dr. Selva Ramachandran, was held in a hybrid ceremony on the campus of Bulacan Polytechnic College-San Jose Del Monte (BPC-SJDM), with the simultaneous virtual participation of representatives of the State University of Nueva Vizcaya (NVSU). Both schools are part of the HEIs participating in the DICT-PNUD project.

The activation of free Wi-Fi hotspots in public higher education institutions is part of UNDP’s commitment to expand public access to free Internet services and provide means to access information and basic public services, with an emphasis on education and health. It is also in line with the two agencies’ joint commitment to supporting communities as they recover from the pandemic, as well as providing digital services and infrastructure to help improve equitable and inclusive pathways to health services. base.

In his opening remarks, Caintic expressed his satisfaction for the successful rollout of the free Wi-Fi initiative with UNDP: “I’m happy to have implemented this…with UNDP and PLDT. One of the main objectives of the… project is to contribute to the advancement of several Sustainable Development Goals. That is why it was strategic that we partner with UNDP, because they clearly know what objectives we are aiming for.

“Our commitment to providing inclusive access to free internet services in public spaces and government offices to facilitate learning and augment government services remains stronger than ever,” Ramachandran said. “I am happy to share that from October 2021 to May 2022, we have already activated 1,000 free Wi-Fi sites and plan to set up 300 additional Wi-Fi hotspots in EES as part of this initiative.”

He also noted that “Internet access made readily available by the DICT-UNDP partnership provides students and teachers with a flexible platform for teaching and learning, especially now that the online and in-person learning is combined. [are] the new standard.

PLDT Senior Vice President Joseph Ian Gendrano expressed the telecommunications company’s gratitude for being selected to partner with UNDP: “We are honored to have had the opportunity to serve and provide a public Wi-Fi access to 220 higher education institutions across the country.

Meanwhile, Resilient Government ICT Undersecretary for Emergency Communications Alan A. Silor noted that: “[the partnership] is in a much better place now. Soon we will provide more access points to boost connectivity in the countryside through the program. »

Silor concluded: “May this progress inspire us to forge new ideas [leading] to successful services similar to today’s Wi-Fi activations. Let’s continue to work on building the foundations of digitally connected Philippines…for every Filipino.

“We are really proud that one of the beneficiaries is the BPC,” said Dr. Rosemarie S. Guirre, head of the college’s Management Information System department. “Internet connectivity is [something that we really need as members of the faculty, as] online teaching is part of new learning. This is the new modality. To UNDP, PLDT and DICT: Thank you very much!

For her part, the head of NVSU, Ruth Raña Padilla, called on her university entourage to take advantage of the service: “While we [partner with DICT and UNDP which are providing our university free Wi-Fi connectivity for all students, employees, and personnel, we implore everyone to maximize this opportunity to explore] new information and increase collaboration with each other.

The activation of 1,000 free Wi-Fi hotspots in HEIs nationwide was made possible through the DICT-UNDP project Connectivity, Capability, and Resiliency through Free Wi-Fi for All (CoRe FW4A) through to PLDT’s commitment. Despite the setbacks of the pandemic, the partnership continued with installations in key areas earlier this year.

The CoRe FW4A project supports the Philippine government’s commitment to accelerate the rollout of the national Free Wi-Fi for All program under Republic Act 10929, otherwise known as the “Free Internet Access Act”. in public places in 2017”. UNDP supports the DICT, serving as the lead implementing agency overseeing the effective and efficient implementation of the law.

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