Meanwhile, in news that made us scream “Hell yeah!,” Senator Ralph Recto just filed Senate Bill 2232 which mandates the government to provide free public Wi-Fi in Metro Manila. Got that, government? Free Wi-Fi for all Manileños!
"Yes, makakapag-Instagram na kami sa jeep ng libre!"
The bill, also called the Free Metro Manila Wifi Act of 2014, states that free Wi-Fi should be provided in the following areas within the metro:
- All government offices
- Public hospitals
- Public elementary and high schools, state colleges and universities
- EDSA and other national roads
- Tollways and expressways
- NAIA (Terminals I, II, III, and IV)
- Public parks and libraries
- Public railway systems including the MRT, LRT, and PNR
The skeptic in you might ask, “Eh saan naman kukunin ang pondo para diyan, aber?” Section 6 of the bill holds the answer stating that public funds from the NTC (National Telecommunications Commission) and/or savings under the current national budget will be used.
If ever the bill gets the go-signal from the Senate, the Congress, and P-Noy, existing commercial ISPs (Internet Service Providers) will be tapped to transform this Pinoy geek dream into awesome reality.
"For the Philippines to further establish itself as an emerging economy, a public broadband internet infrastructure must be in place beginning with the National Capital Region," Senator Recto explains. He adds that a free public Wi-Fi in Metro Manila will give citizens access to important information (e.g. traffic advisories, disaster updates) in a jiffy while also getting our less fortunate bros online.
We hear you, Mr. Senator, and we’re all in for your proposal. But please, can we do something about our crappy Internet speeds first? A free public Wi-Fi service in Metro Manila will be next to useless if it sends us back to the dial-up age, you know. Magbabayad na lang kami, tenkyu.