Government, Public Schools to be granted free internet connection

All local and national government offices in the city as well government-run learning institutions will be provided with a free internet connection.

This was relayed by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to the city council last Monday during the regular session.

The provision of free internet connection to all government facilities and public schools will be realized through the National Broadband Program (NBP).

The NBP is the DICT’s blueprint in deploying broadband technologies to “close the digital divide” and ensure that Filipino citizens get access to accessible, affordable, and quality broadband services.

Antonio Edward Padre, Director of DICT, informed the council that the DICT, in December 2020, partnered with the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) for the procurement of the NBP Phase 1 Project which started in early 2021 and will be completed toward the end of 2021. The contract amount was P1.025 billion.

Baguio City and La Trinidad are two among the 25 identified priority growth areas of the DICT where the NBP Phase 1 will be implemented.

Padre said even barangay halls in the city will be provided with free internet access through the NBP project.

Currently, there is an existing government network where the bandwidth is distributed to the 62 different offices and facilities throughout the city and to other parts of La Trinidad. These 62 offices and facilities are granted free internet connection to be used in their day-to-day transactions and delivery of services.

These 62 offices and facilities are BENECO, Baguio City Hall, BCPO-Main, Happy Happy Hallow NHS, Happy Hallow ES, Happy Hallow Barangay Hall, BCDA, PAGASA Radar Station, BSU, PAGASA AGROMET, LT Municipal Hall, LT PNP Station, BeGH, DOST-CAR, PNP Camp Dangwa, Benguet Capitol, Regional Trial Court, Provincial Warden’s Office, DICT LC1, PMA, DZEQ, LTFRB, LTO, NTC, Roxas ES, CENRO, EMB, DENR, PTV, PhilHealth, DepEd-BTC, NAPOLCOM, NEDA, HLURB, DOLE, DPWH, DPWH-TC, BWD, DILD, PAGASA, Quezon ES, BCSAT, DepEd-Baguio, SPED, Bureau of Immigration, CSC, NBI, DSWD, BIR, Mabini ES, DOTr, DICT-Benguet PO, UP-Baguio, GSIS, BGH, DOH, DOT, BCNHS, COMELEC, DOST, SSS, and MGB.

Padre said the project is compliant with Republic Act 10929, known as the Free Internet Access in Public Places Act. Hence, it will be greatly beneficial to students who have become much more reliant on the internet due to the implementation of the blended learning modality in the wake of the pandemic. -Jordan G. Habbiling