Duterte signs law on free internet access program in public places

MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday signed into law Republic Act 10929 instituting the free internet access program in public places.

Under the “Free Internet Access in Public Places Act,” the government shall establish a program that will provide free access to internet services in public places throughout the country to promote knowledge-building among citizens and enable them to participate and compete in the evolving information and communication age.

Public places covered by the law include national and local government offices; public basic education institutions; state universities and colleges SUCs, and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) technology institutions; and public hospitals, health centers, and rural health units.

Also included are public parks, plazas, libraries, and barangay reading centers; public airports and seaports; and public transport terminals.

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) will be the lead implementing agency that will oversee the effective and efficient implementation of the law.

RA 10929 mandates the DICT to develop a comprehensive plan for the timely and effective implementation and propagation of the free internet access program within one year of its effectivity.

The DICT is also mandated to ensure that the minimum internet speed per user should be two megabits per second (2 Mbps) or as prescribed by the National Broadband Plan, whichever is higher. Cielito Reganit/PNA-northboundasia.com