Municipalities from Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, and La Union will soon be getting free access to WiFi as leading fixed broadband provider Converge ICT Solutions and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) partner up for the campaign.

The DICT gave the green light to Converge in line with President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s promise of giving digital connectivity across the country. In total, 36 municipalities across the three provinces will become the recipients of the program as the agency grants the internet service provider the contract.

Since taking the step to provide Filipinos free access to the internet, the DICT has been tireless in its effort to offer the privilege at the barangay level. As of writing, the government agency has already activated 4,000 free WiFi stations across 17 regions, 75 provinces, and the National Capital Region (NCR) due to the “Free WiFi for All” program.

DICT Regional Office 1 Director Engr. Reynaldo T. Sy expressed his gratitude and positive outlook on the partnership, citing how it will be key to providing “fast and reliable internet connectivity to all Local Government Units (LGU)” in the aforementioned provinces.

Sy believes that the joint project will “bridge the digital divide” and “empower our citizens to stay connected, access vital information, and participate in the digital economy”.

Per a joint survey by the DICT and the Philippine Statistical Research and Training Institute (PSRTI) in 2019 dubbed “2019 National Information and Communications Technology Household Survey,” it concluded that many Filipinos still lack gadgets and access to internet connectivity.

In particular, the survey concluded that only 48 percent use the internet consistently while only 18 percent have access to the internet at home.

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