Coming soon: Free Wi-Fi in Davao City

Editha Caduaya
Coming soon: Free Wi-Fi in Davao City
Under the project, the Wi-Fi signal at each of the facilities will be able to conduct a maximum of 50 users at a time, says the science department

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Davaoeños will soon enjoy free Wi-Fi in public facilities.

The Department of Science and Technology-Information and Communications Technology Office (DOST-ICTO) has identified 8 locations in the city to pilot its Tech4ED Project.

Tech4Ed stands for Technology for Education to gain Employment and Empower Entrepreneurship Towards Economic Development.

The agency is now looking for bidders from telecommunications companies or cable providers to implement the P5.43-million project in the city.

Councilor Joane Bonguyan Quilos, chairperson of the city council’s committee on information technology, said among the public facilities that will be connected are:

  • 18 health centers
  • 1 public library
  • the people’s park
  • 4 higher education institutions
  • the remaining public high schools without wireless Internet

The Tech4ED Project will make use of the sustainability channel, the delivery channel and TV White Space (TVWS) or the free public Wi-Fi. The project promotes grassroots development and opportunities for inclusive growth and poverty reduction.

Tech4ED aims to give communities access to information, communication, technology, government services, non-formal education, skills training, health, job markets, and business portals. The project prioritizes 3rd class municipalities and provinces all over the Philippines.

“The primary objective is to build up a nationwide connectivity network that will open ICT, enable gateways for education, opportunities, services, markets and productivity,” said Quilos.

Tech4ED national project manager Maria Jillian Panganiban said there are 3 levels of access to the free public Wi-Fi.

“Anyone can enjoy the 50 mb per day. For government employees, you can actually present your government IDs for you to be able to enjoy 100 mb per day. And then, if you have this PKI, the Public Key Infrastructure, you can actually enjoy 300 mb,” she said.

She said that they want to empower Filipinos, especially those who are living in far-flung areas: “Tech4ED is actually a technology for education to gain employment and empower all the entrepreneurs out here in Davao towards economic development.” 

“It is not just an internet access point, but it will be a training as we go along,” she added.

Panganiban said they are especially targeting out-of-school youths and adults, teachers, students, people with disabilities, women, senior citizens, overseas Filipino workers, indigenous people, and the entrepreneurs.

Alimbzar Asum, DOST-ICTO Mindanao cluster director, said the Wi-Fi signal at each of the facilities will be able to conduct a maximum of 50 users at a time, giving each at least 256 kilobits per second (kbps) of free access to Internet.

Asum said that the 50-person limit would ensure steady Internet speed, with each user given a data allocation similar to the bandwidth provided by the private telcos.

In a letter, Engineer Leo Ugto, head of the DOST-ICTO technical coordination support division, asked the city government for logistical support such as furniture, an access facility, as well as Wi-Fi router. 

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