Mayor Lucilo Bayron leads the ceremonial activation of the “Free WiFi For All” in Puerto Princesa City.

The Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) launched in the city Thursday the “Free WiFi For All” (FWFA), a free internet services project in public areas across the Philippines aimed to promote socio-economic and educational opportunities through digital connectivity.

Mayor Lucilo Bayron expressed gratitude on the very small aperture technology (VSAT) devices which will be installed in some 17 far-flung communities in the city, pointing out that the WiFi access will enable townsfolk in enhancing learning for the students, and deepen engagement in government social and economic services.

“We’d also like to ask DICT and UNDP to consider na madagdagan ‘yong capacity within the complex and the rural areas,” he said.

The VSAT device can accommodate 50 users at a time, yielding up to 2mbps bandwidth speed, and within the 300-meter range.

Some 820 WiFi access points were pegged to be installed across the Palawan province, including the Pagasa Island in the West Philippine Sea.

Enrico Gaveglia, the UNDP deputy resident representative, said that “bridging digital divides through information” will help the citizens in institutionalizing growth by regulating the use of free internet.

“The project will contribute to rapid progress because [disadvantaged] communities will now have enhanced learning capacities,” Gaveglia explained citing that, “Security protocols were placed within each equipment to make sure that kids will not be able to access adult-related sites or those that are harmful to the kids.”

FWFA penciled some 3,283 WiFi sites throughout the country by the end of 2021.

There were five flagship provinces including Lanao del Sur, Isabela, Davao City, and Albay, which had simultaneous “ceremonial activation” that was broadcasted live using the very same WiFi technology.