By Juan Escandor Jr.
PILI, Camarines Sur --- The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the provincial government here virtually connect more than half of the of the 35 Camarines Sur towns to the cyberspace with the installation of free public Wi-Fi to 19 towns, in a ceremony held at the Capitol Convention Complex on Monday (May 21).
Enrico Toledo, manager of DICT’s Free Public Wi-Fi Project or “Pipol Konek”, said the installation of Wi-Fi connection in Camarines Sur towns is part of the P1.4B nationwide implementation of Pipol Konek covering 1,632 city, municipal and provincial governments which the department started in late 2016.
Among the Camarines Sur towns included as initial beneficiaries of the DICT’s Pipol Konek are Baao, Balatan, Bato, Cabusao, Camaligan, Del Gallego, Garchitorena, Lupi, Magarao, Milaor and Minalabac.
Also covered by the free public Wi-Fi connection under the project are the towns of Pamplona, Pasacao, Pili, Presentacion, San Jose, Sagñay, and Tigaon.
Toledo said Camarines Sur has the highest rate in the number of towns now connected to the free public Wi-Fi of the DICT, comprising 54 percent of the province’s municipalities.
Gov. Miguel Luis Villafuerte said the free public Wi-Fi connections in the 19 towns of Camarines Sur under the Pipol Konek are on top of the free public Wi-Fi connection the provincial government had installed in Iriga City Park and Nabua Public Market.
Villafuerte said the provincial government has also installed free public Wi-Fi in 88 public schools in the towns of Pili, Bula, Minalabac and Milaor with its Information and Communications, Archives, and Records Management Office (ICARMO) had earlier implemented.
Toledo said the Wi-Fi access point are installed in plazas and public libraries with a minimum speed of 2MB; and unlike the public Wi-Fi in the malls and other commercial places with limited access period, under the Pipol Konek, it’s 24/7.
He said the average range of the Wi-Fi is within a radius of 500 meters.
Toledo said the DICT computes the number of possible users to determine the capacity to be given to the Wi-Fi access point before its installation.
He said the DICT will monitor the actual number of users within the access point and add capacity once signs of slowing down or stoppage occur due to the number of users.