CONNECTED. Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Secretary Gregorio Honasan II (3rd from right) and Pangasinan Governor Amado Espino III (4th from right) lead the ceremonial activation of the "free WiFi for all" hotspot areas in Pangasinan on Friday (July 23, 2021). There are now 142 operational WiFi sites all over the province as of July 1 this year, according to the DICT. (Photo by Hilda Austria)

LINGAYEN, Pangasinan – The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has established some 142 sites of the “Free WiFi (wireless fidelity) for All” in 21 towns and cities of the province as of July 1.

In an interview on Friday, DICT-Pangasinan provincial head Conrado P. Castro Jr. said the free WiFi connections have been operational in all campuses of the Pangasinan State University as well as various government hospitals in the province.

Among these areas are the cities of Alaminos, Dagupan, San Carlos, and Urdaneta as well as the towns of Bayambang, Binalonan, Binmaley, Bolinao, Dasol, Infanta, Labrador, Lingayen, Manaoag, Mangatarem, Mapandan, Pozorrubio, San Fabian, Sta. Maria, Tayug and Umingan.

He said each site has a maximum speed of 10 megabits per second (mbps).

“The objective of public WiFi is for everybody’s use, especially in emergency cases. For example, you need to talk to someone, you can use your messenger app with the free WiFi at least you can reduce using your own cellphone load,” he said, adding that it will also be useful for students and employees.

DICT Secretary Gregorio Honasan II, in his speech during his visit to the province on Friday, said President Rodrigo Duterte has instructed him when he assumed as the DICT secretary to connect the government to the citizens, global community, and businesses to boost the economic activity.

“Access to data and information is now considered as rights. We need timely, complete, and accurate information that really allows our people to make informed, rational, and intelligent long-term decisions,” Honasan said.

Meanwhile, Pangasinan Governor Amado Espino III thanked the DICT for establishing a noble project in the province that is beneficial to Pangasinenses.

“The ease of doing business, the ease of connecting and informing the people of Pangasinan was made possible by the DICT,” he said.

After the launch, Honasan and Espino inked a memorandum of agreement that seeks to provide more services of the DICT to Pangasinan.

New equipment

The DICT has also turned over seven computer sets to the Dagupan City Public Library on Friday.
“The upgrade intends to equip the newly-launched Rural Impact Sourcing (RIS) hub as part of the Technology for Education, Employment, Entrepreneurs and Economic Development (Tech4Ed) Center. This part of the library serves as a shared facility that capacitates individuals interested in digital jobs who do not have access to the Internet or a computer,” the city’s Public Information Office said.

Honasan, in an interview, said the DICT aims to connect the farthest, the smallest, and the poorest to attain lasting peace, political unity, and the prosperity that the people deserve.

“We are closely working with the DICT in terms of the rollout of the free Internet and also the towers that are going to be used by different telcos to enhance Internet connectivity in the city with an emphasis on our far-flung barangays; the island barangays because they are more marginalized in terms of connectivity,” Marc Brian Lim said in his speech during the event.

Dagupan City has 21 operational free-WiFi hotspot areas all over the city.

Fidel de Guzman, a resident of Dagupan City, admitted that the free WiFi in public places has been very useful for him as it saves his data usage with his own cellphone load. (PNA)