P1.76B earmarked for free Wi-Fi in proposed 2017 budget

‘With the proposed funding, the project, which aims to provide free broadband internet access to 1,462 towns and 44 key cities nationwide, is sustained,’ says Senator Ralph Recto

The proposed 2017 budget of the newly created Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) includes P1.76 billion for free Wi-Fi in public areas.

In a statement on Saturday, September 3, Senate Minority Leader Ralph Recto said the amount for 2017 is P107 million higher than the P1.65 billion allotted for the “Free Internet Connectivity in Public Places” project in 2016.

“With the proposed funding, the project, which aims to provide free broadband internet access to 1,462 towns and 44 key cities nationwide, is sustained,” Recto was quoted as saying.

If the P1.76-billion budget is approved, the senator added, it “would bring to P4.81 billion the amount allocated for the project since 2015.”

This proposal for me have pros and cons. Example for the students who use free wifi, the advantage is that it is easy for students to have discussion group with member in social networking to communicate with them. The disadvantage is that the student will use the WiFi for wrong purpose instead of using them for study and will loss their focus on study.

The government should consider that there are definite cons of providing free Wi-Fi in cities and measures should be taken to provide complete security over public Wi-Fi. No loopholes should be left from wherein snooping could be possible. Awareness should be created especially in not so developed towns about ways to ensure security and confidentiality. Speed regulation should also be kept in mind before taking the major step. With these precautionary measures well implemented, Philippines can benefit largely from free Wi-Fi in cities.

-Geraldine Kaye Medrocillo

 

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