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DICT targets free Wi-Fi in 46 sites in Bicol this year



by Casandra E. Balala

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) affirmed it would set up Free Wi-Fi access to additional 46 sites in Bicol this year to increase internet connectivity in public places amidst pandemic.

Engineer Antonio Bonganay, DICT Albay Provincial officer, said these 46 public places include nine sites in Albay, 20 in Camarines Sur, six in Camarines Norte, two in Catanduanes, three in Masbate and six in Sorsogon.

“For now, we have installed free Wi-Fi in some hospitals to strengthen the connectivity especially this time of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Also, some quarantine facilities have started installing free Wi-Fi,” he asserted.

He added that the Free Wi-Fi for All program of DICT intended for public places include community colleges, Rural Health Units, municipal halls, plaza, schools, seaports, airports, terminals and the like.

Meanwhile, Bonganay also stated that the Free Wi-Fi for All program have already benefited many public places in Bicol which include 68 access point in Albay, 18 in Camarines Norte, 55 in Camarines Sur, 47 in Catanduanes, 29 in Masbate and 135 in Sorsogon.

“These sites in Bicol already installed with free Wi-Fi comprises the different Local Government Units (LGUs), plaza, libraries, hospitals, schools, DICT offices, National Government Agencies, and State Universities and Colleges,” he said.

Bonganay added that they also aim to provide free Wi-Fi access to different barangays and remote areas next year. He said people rely more on internet as they slowly adapt to new normal which affects their work, education and businesses.

On the other hand, Bonganay also affirmed they conducted awareness activities on cyber threat and cyber security upon the installation of free Wi-Fi. This is to protect the clients, especially students, from the scams or threats online.

“We give awareness through orientations together with the LGUs. Actually, before a person can access to free Wi-Fi, there are means and methods implemented to prevent those malwares or unknown sites. Nevertheless, if there are instances of threats online, they can immediately inform the DICT to filter these sites and protect the children,” he explained. (PIA5/CEB/DICT)