Twenty free Wi-Fi sites are set to be launched in Isabela and Lamitan in Basilan this coming June 30 through the Department of Information and Communications Technology’s (DICT) Free Wi-Fi for All Program.

Aside from providing Internet access at no charge to users in the selected public places, the to-be launched Wi-Fi sites are also expected to provide access to efficient and effective ICT infrastructure and information systems to these communities, promote the use of ICT to improve delivery of critical government services, and provide a lower entry barrier for new Internet users, among others.

The launch is a milestone achievement for DICT in its efforts to reach the unserved and underserved areas in the country with DICT’s Mindanao Cluster 1 (DICT-MC1) overcoming the challenge of a series of bidding failures for the Internet service in Basilan. This was made possible by the Cluster’s move to harness their existing resources, manpower, and by partnering with local stakeholders.

“By way of background, the initiative commenced in December 2019 where a backhaul link from Zamboanga City was installed to connect Isabela City, Basilan.  Our technical team mounted a 33-meter guyed-trylon tower inside the premise of DICT Basilan Office and installed an AirFiber 5U IP Radio facing Zamboanga City. This tower serves as the Hub for connecting the free Wi-Fi beneficiary sites.  In January 2020, the same was also done in Lamitan City with the support of the LGU,” DICT MC1, Director Maria Teresa M. Camba narrated.

The event will be hosted by MC1 and will be livestreamed at DICT’s Facebook page. It is part of this year’s observance of the National ICT Month with the theme “Maximizing ICT for the New Normal.”

“We cannot emphasize further the importance of connectivity and access, especially amid the health crisis we are in. It has become the lifeblood of our society, providing a sense of normalcy in our lives. And with that, it is your DICT’s duty to ensure the whole country are afforded this right, including the remotest part of the country. It is our duty to ensure the country safely transition to the new normal,” DICT Secretary Gregorio B. Honasan II said.

The following are the sites to be launched.

  1. DICT Basilan Provincial Office
  2. Basilan National High School
  3. Basilan Provincial Capitol
  4. Basilan Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office
  5. Basilan Provincial Library
  6. Infantry Brigade101 Headquarters, Isabela City
  7. Isabela City Hall
  8. Isabela City Maritime Police
  9. Isabela City Port
  10. Isabela City Post Office
  11. Malamawi National High School
  12. 18th Infantry Battalion, Armed Forces of the Philippines Camp, Lamitan City
  13. Business Center, Lamitan City
  14. Datu Kalun Plaza, Lamitan City
  15. Digital Hub, Lamitan City
  16. Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office, Lamitan City
  17. Lamitan City Hall
  18. Lamitan City Health Office
  19. Lamitan City Port
  20. Lamitan City Infirmary