Press Release
November 10, 2018


Senator Sonny Angara is looking forward to faster implementation of the government's free Wi-Fi project in state universities and colleges (SUCs) with the expected entry of the third major player in the telecommunications industry.

Angara expressed hope the third telco would invest in telecoms infrastructure that would support the implementation of a law establishing free internet access in public places, especially in SUCs.

"Sana ang pagpasok ng bagong telco provider ang hinihintay natin para mapabilis ang pagpapatupad ng libreng Wi-Fi access sa mga pampublikong lugar, lalung-lalo na sa mga SUCs kung saan malaki ang pakinabang nito sa mga estudyante," Angara said.

The National Telecommunications Commission recently declared Mislatel, a consortium of China Telecom and Filipino businessman Dennis Uy's Udena Corp. and Chelsea Logistics, as the provisional third telco provider following a selection process where it emerged as the lone surviving bidder.

Angara said that free internet connectivity in SUCs can help students with their research, school assignments and projects.

With free Wi-Fi access, Angara said, devices such as laptops, tablets and smartphones can connect students to a wealth of text, audio and video content not found in textbooks.

"Kung libre ang Wi-Fi, malaki ang matitipid ng mga estudyante dahil hindi na nila kailangang gumastos sa mga computer shop o pagpapa-load para magkaroon ng internet data," Angara pointed out.

The government's free Wi-Fi project has a total budget of P1.7 billion for 2018, which includes P326 million for SUCs and P1.36 billion for free Wi-Fi in public places.

However, as of June this year, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) reported during a Senate budget hearing that it had only utilized 10 percent of the budget for the project.

Angara, who sponsored the DICT's budget for 2018, could not hide his disappointment over the apparent delay in the implementation of the government's free Wi-Fi access program.

The senator was all the more dismayed when he found out that only 15 out of 112 SUCs in the country have free Wi-Fi.

"This could also help students to keep in touch with their families and loved ones. Partikular na sa mga mag-aaral na ang mga magulang ay OFW o para sa mga nag-aaral dito sa Maynila habang ang kanilang pamilya ay nasa probinsya. Dapat ay maipatupad na ito agad," he added.

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