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DICT reports 500% improvement in free wifi rollout for 2020

/ 07:38 PM January 04, 2021
Gregorio Honasan

Department of Information and Communications Secretary Gregorio Honasan. IQUIRER.net file photo / Cathy Miranda

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) on Monday reported “dramatic improvements” in the rollout of its Free Wi-Fi for All Program (FW4A) in 2020, saying that it achieved a 500-percent improvement from its previous average of 800 sites per year.

For 2020 alone, the DICT said it was able to put up 4,305 live sites, which is more than double the combined 3,251 live sites deployed from 2016 to 2019.

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“This program is instrumental to fulfilling the marching orders given by the President to DICT, upon our assumption last July 2019, which includes connecting every Filipino to each other, to their government, and to the world,” DICT Secretary Gregorio B. Honasan II said in a statement.

“So, from day-one we immediately went into analyzing factors that may speed-up the implementation and applied the needed reforms,” he added.

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The free wifi program has been continually reevaluated and redesigned to address major issues that include the procurement of some crucial network components and the difficulty of some suppliers to deliver their contractual obligations.

The DICT likewise reported that has utilized around 93.89% of its FW4A budget for 2019.

The overall utilization rate of the Department’s total 2019 budget is now approximately 80% as of December 31, 2020. The availability of the 2019 national budget was extended until December 31, 2020 by President Duterte due to the delay in the approval of the 2019 General Appropriations Act.

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TAGS: connectivity, DICT, free WiFi, Internet, Philippines
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