Batac mayor urges DITC to improve internet services

BATAC CITY —- The local chief executive here is urging authorities of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to speed up the delivery of quality, affordable and reliable ICT services to consumers.

In Batac City, consumers here particularly at the Department of Education had been complaining of too slow internet connection due to poor satellite signal.

Teachers in the eastern part of the city, for example, who are expected to send electronic files or download instructional materials from the internet have to travel to the city proper to have a better signal.

“Our consumers are being short changed by internet providers. The national government must have a political will to do something about it,” said City Mayor Albert Chua as he re-echoed the desire of his constituents to have a better internet connection especially in its far-flung villages.

“Our teachers, most specially, are already overworked. Moving their work from the village to the city is already time consuming,” Chua added as he underscored internet providers should also make way to improve their services.

While the DICT is trying to establish a fiber optic connection to Ilocos Norte, Provincial Director Joven Viernes of the Department of Science and Technology said the department has an existing campaign dubbed as “Juan, Konek!” which aims to provide free Wi-Fi in public places.

The technology, however, has yet to be pilot tested in the province as it was first launched in Bohol and Leyte provinces.

The Free Wi-Fi Internet Access in public areas project hopes to bring free connectivity across the country with 256 kilobits per second (kbps) average speed.

Ilocos Norte is composed of 70 percent mountainous terrain which means a fiber optic installation may not be feasible in some parts of the province such as in Isic-isic village of Vintar and in the towns of Adams and Dumalneg.

To resolve this issue, authorities said the DICT may consider to power up satellite installation in Pagudpud town, which is adjacent to these often isolated municipalities during strong typhoon due to landslide.