Amid traffic, Edsa commuters get free Wi-Fi
Commuters on perennially congested Edsa now have free access to the internet, enabling them to spend 30 minutes wisely, even profitably, while waiting in line to get up to an elevated train station or sitting in a bus caught in gridlock.
The Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT) and telco giants PLDT Inc. and Globe Telecom on Monday launched a free Wi-Fi service on Edsa, probably delaying the entry of foreign companies as threatened last year by President Duterte, who was so annoyed with the Philippines’ slow internet.
With free Wi-Fi, commuters on Edsa could have access to essential information, even online jobs, and be better connected with others, according to presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella, who announced on Monday the launch of the project by the DICT.
Advances in information communication technology (ICT) play an important role in nation-building, Abella said.
“ICT, as a matter of fact, forms part of the overarching goal of the President of building a united Philippines where there is comfortable life for all,” he added.
Abella also took note of a statement from the DICT quoting World Bank studies that every 10-percent increase in broadband internet penetration translated into a 1.38-percent increase in a country’s gross domestic product growth.
The DICT launched the free Wi-Fi project amid reports that the Philippines has one of the slowest internet in the Asia-Pacific region.
Abella said free Wi-Fi on Edsa was “just the beginning.”
The DICT aims to reach more than 13,000 public places in 145 cities and 1,489 towns across the country.
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