DOST-PTV deal seeks to boost gov’t’s free Wi-Fi project
A deal between the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and People’s Television Network (PTV) is set to boost the government’s free Wi-Fi Internet connection program, particularly in far-flung municipalities.
In a memorandum of agreement, DOST’s Information and Communications Technology Office (ICTO) would install Wi-Fi transceivers on PTV’s broadcast towers. The government-run broadcast station would also occupy spaces in ICTO’s offices in at least 11 cities in Visayas and Mindanao.
“This is a welcome development in the government’s aim to reach Filipinos all over the country,” said Communications Secretary Herminio “Sonny” Coloma in a statement on Friday. “Through DOST’s properties, we will be able to install additional transmitters to boost the government channel’s presence in the countryside, while also supporting free Wi-Fi program.”
The 25-year colocation deal came in the middle of a P759-million modernization plan for PTV, aiming to switch from analog to digital broadcast system.
“From 20 percent, PTV’s digital upgrade would improve the signal reach to 80-90 percent of television viewers in the country, an audience which the network sees will benefit from its upcoming improvements such as on-demand information consumption and the Emergency Warning Broadcast System,” the statement added.
Coloma said the collaboration with DOST, which gave PTV savings from its 2015 capital expenditure of P892 million, would extend the government’s reach to the public.
“The government will be able to connect with our bosses all over the Philippines through television and online,” Coloma said. “This modernization allows our station to provide quality programming and online services to the people.”
In June, the House of Representatives has approved on third and final reading a bill providing free public wireless Internet access in all public spaces across the country. The ICTO was tasked to provide the Internet connectivity under the bill.
In 2013, President Benigno Aquino III signed into law Republic Act No. 10390 or “An Act Revitalizing the People’s Television Network.
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