Good news for Filipinos as the House of Rep. recently approved the bill which will propagate public wireless internet for free and accessible in terminals, parks, public buildings and plazas across the country. The Free Public WiFi Act, also known as House Bill No. 5791, aims to address the Philippines’ problem of internet connectivity. The solution is by giving the public free access to the internet via major public places. This House Bill is a replacement bill to HB No. 1550 which was filed by Terry L. Ridon, Kabataan Party Rep.
The Free Public WiFi Act was defended recently in plenary after being approved. This was done by the House Committee on ICT (Information and Communications Technology) which is headed by Rep. Joel Roy R. Duavit of the first district of Rizal as well as Kabataan Party Rep. Ridon.
Here are some of the specific details and provisions of the House Bill No. 5791:
- access shouldn’t be limited with passwords unless there’s a clear risk
- broadband hotspots should be setup within 2 years of the act being implemented
- these should be setup in all state colleges and universities, public plazas and parks, public transpo terminals, public hospitals and national government offices
- the access should remain free and that there shouldn’t be any fees collected from the users
- privacy should also be maintained for those using the public wifi for free
- ICTO and DOST will be leading the implementation of the bill
For more details, check out the press release at the government portal.
Free Public Wifi
The Philippines, according to Wikipedia, has among the slowest internet speeds in the world. Based on Akamai’s State of the Internet Q2-2014, we are ranked 103rd with an average internet speed of only 2.5 Mbps. Furthermore, OpenSignal also reported that we had the slowest LTE connections in world.
We also have a very low connectivity ratio with only 33% of the population connected to the internet as of 2011.