Free public WiFi along EDSA launched on Independence Day

MANILA — The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) launched Monday its EDSA WiFi Project to provide free high speed Internet to commuters along EDSA.

DICT Secretary Rodolfo Salalima said the initiative is in fulfillment of the vision of President Rodrigo Duterte to provide free Internet access in public places nationwide.

“We work to give Filipinos access to the information and technology that they need in their daily lives. EDSA WiFi will benefit the hundreds of thousands of commuters along EDSA daily,” Salalima said.

The EDSA WiFi Project seeks to offer free WiFi and high speed Internet services throughout the whole stretch of the 24-kilometer EDSA.

Its first phase which started operations this Independence Day cover all 13 MRT stations from North Avenue to Taft Avenue and the stretch of EDSA from Guadalupe to Cubao at the street level.

The second phase will cover EDSA from Cubao to North Avenue and from Guadalupe to Taft Avenue before the President’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 24, 2017 making the street level of EDSA running in parallel to the MRT rail line a High Speed WiFi zone from Taft in Pasay City to North Avenue in Quezon City.

The last phase will cover the entire stretch of EDSA outside the reach of MRT from Mall of Asia to Balintawak to be completed by end of August 2017.

PLDT Inc. and Globe Telecom will provide its facilities at no cost to the government to ensure the availability of the free public WiFi service. Both mobile service providers have coordinated with the local governments of Quezon City, Mandaluyong, Makati, Manila, Pasay City as well as the MRT administration and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to complete the installation of the public WiFi service.

Through this initiative, commuters will be able to choose the connection that will best serve their needs.

“We welcome the cooperation of the private sector on this endeavor as we aim to give people choices,” Salalima stated.

The telco firms will be offering free WiFi services to the commuters for the first 30 minutes while the DICT’s “PipolKonek” will be free all throughout.

The DICT, through its “PipolKonek” project,” will rollout Free Public WiFi hotspots in public plazas and parks; public libraries, schools, colleges and universities; rural health units and government hospitals; train stations, airports, and seaports; and national and local government offices.

The department aims to reach over 13,000 public places across 145 cities and 1,489 municipalities. Aerol Patena/