Free public Wi-Fi bill approved on third, final reading | Inquirer Technology

Free public Wi-Fi bill approved on third, final reading

By: - Reporter / @deejayapINQ
/ 06:07 PM May 29, 2015
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AFP FILE PHOTO

Soon, you may no longer need to piggyback on your neighbor’s Wi-Fi.

The House of Representatives has passed on third and final reading the proposed “Free Public Wi-Fi Law,” which provides free wireless Internet access in public buildings, terminals, parks and plazas nationwide.

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“The proposed Free Public Wi-Fi Act seeks to address the country’s problem of interconnectivity by providing free public access point in all major public places,” the authors said in a statement after the approval of House Bill 5791.

HB 5791, a substitute of Kabataan Rep. Terry Ridon’s HB 1550, was successfully defended on the plenary floor by Ridon and other members of the House committee on information and communications technology chaired by Rizal Rep. Joel Roy Davit.

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The bill mandates the installation of broadband hotspots in all national government offices, buildings of state universities and colleges, public parks, plazas, hospitals and transportation terminals.

No password will be required to tap into the network, “except when there is a clear and present security or technical risk,” according to the measure.

Naturally, no fees will also be collected from the users.

Upon enactment into law, the public spaces covered by the bill should install the wireless hotspots within two years from its effectivity.

Likewise, the measure provides that the Information and Communications Technology Office of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) shall lead the implementation.

The proposed law further states that the government shall respect the privacy of citizens who use the public broadband hotspots.

In no case shall the internet service providers engage in the “collection, use, or disclosure of user data, including the collection of anonymous traffic data,” in accordance with existing laws, according to the bill. AU

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TOPICS: free public wi-fi law, free Wi-Fi, House of Representatives, infotech, legislation
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