LAOAG CITY —- The Laoag International Airport here that is gearing up for modernization now has high-speed wireless internet connectivity that the public may use for free.
Attended by airport personnel, officials of local government units and representatives of the PLDT Group and its wireless unit Smart Communications, the public Wi-Fi was officially launched at the airport’s arrival area on Friday to provide fast and reliable internet service to all stakeholders.
Running for around 200 mbps depending on the number of active users, Finina Tabuena, vice president for enterprise customer operations management sector of PLDT and Smart said this new high speed service wi-fi offers internet service “without interruption, without delay and without the buffering.”
“Para ka makapag-download or stream ng video, you only need 2 mbps at the minimum. So, this is actually very very fast compared to normal experience kahit sa bahay,” she said.
As the northern gateway of Luzon with sustained increase in foreign and domestic arrivals, the Laoag airport ranks eight out of the 18 major airports and other public transport hubs to have its free Wi-Fi installed in the first 100 days of President Rodrigo Duterte.
With an initial investment of Php1 billion earmarked this year for the first phase of the nationwide deployment of Smart Wi-Fi, Tabuena hopes to bring in the same ultra-fast internet service to local government units including high density areas like schools, hospitals, malls and other public facilities to have good, fast and reliable internet connection.
In support of the Duterte administration’s internet for all program which he pointed out during his first State of the Nation Address, Tabuena said it is also upon the corporate responsibility of the company, as a service provider, to have as many beneficiaries as possible.
“It is something that we see of something permanent mainstay in Laoag. Mas nauna pa ang mga domestic airports kaysa sa NAIA 1,2,3. But are already in the process of doing that now and we hope to be able to launch that in September,” she added.
For his part, Ronald Estabillo, Laoag airport manager, said this is a welcome development for all airport stakeholders to have free internet access and makes them more productive citizens of the country.
“This is a big help for us especially our office because they also gave us free access. The free internet service also goes with our airport modernization because it is not enough that we are upgrading our facilities if we don’t have improved communication technology too,” Estabillo added.
The Department of Transportation and Communication and PLDT Smart signed earlier an agreement to strengthen data connectivity in airports, seaports, railways, train stations, and bus terminals across the country.
The nationwide roll-out is backed by the group’s robust and resilient wireless and fixed-line network infrastructure, and is part of Smart’s three-year massive network modernization program to handle the expected rise in data traffic. PNA/northboundasia.com