Free Philippine Wifi initiative set for July

Victor Barreiro Jr.
Free Philippine Wifi initiative set for July
Users get speeds of 256 kbps to check the Internet, with data caps imposed to curb abuse

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is set to  implement its free Wifi access project in the country in July.

The project, spearheaded by the DOST’s Information and Communications Technology office (DOST-ICT), will provide Wifi Internet access to various public spaces in the country.

According to a DOST Terms of Reference document released March 7, the project will cover selected public spaces at:

  1. Public Plazas and Parks
  2. Public Primary and Secondary Central Schools
  3. Public Libraries
  4. Rural Health Units & Government Hospitals
  5. State Universities & Colleges
  6. Train Stations of the MRT and LRT systems
  7. Airports and Seaports
  8. City and Municipal Halls
  9. National Government Offices

The document added that “priority shall be given in the above order, and to lower income municipalities.”

Not so fast

While the news may be welcome to many, urbanites used to a certain speed standard should take note of some caveats.

While free, users are provided with 256 kbps of capacity, which is somewhat hampered by the addition of a fair use policy.

Users are set into 3 groups depending on the type of ID they have used to sign into the system, and will get a bandwidth cap equivalent to their level.

Level 1 users get a 50MB daly cap up to 1GB monthly, and have no assurance of consistent 256 kbps connectivity. Level 2 and level 3 users get increasing assurances of connectivity, along with a 100 or 300 MB daily cap that has a limit of 2GB or 3GB, respectively.

This project is funded by a P1.408 billion-budget under the 2015 General Appropriations Act (GAA). –

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Victor Barreiro Jr.

Victor Barreiro Jr is part of Rappler's Central Desk. An avid patron of role-playing games and science fiction and fantasy shows, he also yearns to do good in the world, and hopes his work with Rappler helps to increase the good that's out there.