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Free Public Internet Access Operates in Far-flung Barangays

February 4, 2022


The Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT) in partnership with the Provincial Government of Pangasinan has embarked on Free Public Internet Access Program which now benefits a total of 47 far-flung barangays in the province.

With the aim to bridge the digital divide under the National Connectivity Program, the Free Public Internet Access Program (FPIAP) recognizes the need to deliver faster economic, social, and educational connectivity and opportunities in Pangasinan. The program shall also enhance public services such as: education, public health and safety, revenue generation, and socio-civic activities in Pangasinan.

It can be recalled that the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the said project was signed by Governor Amado I. Espino III with then DICT Secretary Gregorio Honasan II last July 26, 2021.

The program prioritizes geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas or GIDA sites composed of the following towns in Pangasinan: Bani (5 barangays), Bolinao (2), Burgos (5), Dasol (5), Infanta (5), Mabini (5), Sual (5), Mangatarem (3), Natividad (2), San Nicolas (2), Umingan (4), and Anda (4).

In an interview with Free Public Internet Access Program Coordinator Jonathan Castro, he disclosed that the aforementioned areas which have slow or no connectivity were identified by Provincial Health Office, Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, and Provincial Management Information Services Office.

Each of the 47 sites has its corresponding installed equipment and logistics including antenna, transceiver, modem, and cables and connectors. Insurance, warranty, and training as well as bandwidth and mobile application maintenance are also included in the project.

Significant improvement in connectivity and information dissemination are observed especially in Rural Health Units, Police Stations, schools and other public facilities up to 300 meters from the main each of the project, according to Mr. Castro.

The Provincial Government also submits monthly performance monitoring reports to the DICT for the program.