Slow internet, public wi-fi installation taking toll in Ilocos Norte

BATAC CITY -— Residents here who have grown dependent on Internet services as a vital source of communication continue to endure slow connection as the deployment of fiber optic cables and wireless technologies is being barred by some local authorities here.

Gerald Calamaan, Ilocos Norte Provincial head of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) confirmed this as he reported some local officials of La Union government expressed opposition to the project due to privatization issues.

While the issue is now being settled at the higher office, Calamaan said Ilocos Norte’s internet services still greatly depend on two providers such as PLDT-Smart Communications Inc. and Globe telecom, whose services in the province had been slammed as poorer and expensive over a period of time.

As a “Social Media Capital of the World”, over 44 million Filipinos expressed hopes under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte’s promise for a better internet service nationwide with the implementation of a national broadband plan.

Specifically, the President has directed the newly-created DICT to address the country’s internet problems though a public-private partnership in building the broadband network.

According to Calamaan, the installation of public wi-fi in strategic areas which include far flung schools of Batac, Vintar and Adams has yet to be completed, pending the release of some permits and other pertinent documents from concerned authorities.

As the budget has already been approved, he hopes the installation will be fully completed by next year.