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Internet connection reaches remote areas

QUEZON CITY (PIA) -- President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.'s administration prioritizes boosting digital connectivity in the country by focusing on implementing projects that can narrow the digital divide in the geographically-isolated and disadvantaged areas (GIDAs).

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) is accelerating the rollout of needed digital infrastructure and wireless broadband technologies through its flagship BroadBand ng Masa (BBM) Program. The main goal is to bring internet connectivity to the different communities in the country, especially in far-flung areas.

 “We need to bring connectivity to all mountainous regions, island groups that the telcos have been hesitant in putting up those investments mainly because of economic considerations… so the government has to come in and bridge that divides by providing first mover connectivity in those areas. Hopefully, when we initially provide that connectivity, the economies in those areas will start improving and the population will start developing better utilization or use cases of that connectivity,” DICT Secretary Ivan John Uy said.

At present, there are 4,757 free Wi-Fi sites in 17 regions, 75 provinces and Metro Manila, and 606 cities and municipalities nationwide, including those in the GIDAs, such as Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, and Pag-asa Island in Kalayaan Group of Islands.

In line with the celebration of National ICT Month, DICT Undersecretary Jocelle Batapa-Sigue shares that the closing ceremonies on June 30 will be at Sacol Island in Zamboanga City, one of the far-flung locations in the country.

“Napakalayong island pero maraming bata, maraming pamilya. Last year, first time in their lives, nakapag-send po, nakapag-post sa Facebook kasi nilagyan ng internet ng DICT. Doon po magtatapos iyong ating National ICT Month sa Sacol Island and I’m proud to announce that Sacol Island has been named by the International Telecommunications Union as a potential location to be as a smart village of the world,” she said.

Previously, the DICT in support of sustainable tourism development commits to providing free internet connection in the 94 tourist destinations with connectivity challenges.

This will offer tourists seamless internet connectivity while on travel and ensure that they will have a complete ‘Philippine experience’.

The first half is expected to be delivered in the third quarter and the other half to be completed by the end of this year.

President Marcos during the launch of eGov Super App emphasizes the vital role of technology and the importance of facilitating the “rapid development of our interconnectivity infrastructure to allow our economy to ride the wave and open up an ocean of opportunities for prosperity.” (KSAA – PIA CPSD)

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Kate Shiene Austria

Information Officer III

Information Officer III under the Creative and Production Services Division of the Philippine Information Agency. 

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