The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) aims to provide internet connectivity to public schools by expanding its free WiFi service.

DICT officer-in-charge Eliseo Rio said in his Facebook post early this month the DICT would work alongside the Department of Education (DepEd) to gain support for the administration’s vision to include all public schools across the country to have free internet access.

Rio said the agency would ink a a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with DepEd this January for the implementation of the said project.

He stressed the plan would “prioritize schools that will be used as precincts in the 2019 mid-term elections.”

In the same social media post, Rio said the third telco player should take this as a “challenge” and ready their networks for a “huge market of high speed” and “inexpensive internet access to the homes.”

“Every child should have the same opportunity to access the internet,” he said.

The government is targeting to make the third player be operational in the first three months of the year, so as to fire up the competition between the so-called telco duopoly PLDT and Globe Telecom and to bring down the cost of telco services.

The government’s free WiFi program envisions to equip public places such as town plazas, parks, government offices, health units, and transport terminals, with internet access.

The DICT also launched the National Broadband Plan in June last year which seeks to address the “clamor for universal, faster and affordable internet access.”

Together with Globe Telecom and PLDT, it also rolled out the free WiFi along EDSA last June.

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