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Philippines to have free Wi-Fi access in public areas

Posted: 30 Mar 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Wi-Fi? House Bill 1550? Rappler? Internet?

Soon the entire Philippines will have free Wi-Fi access, thanks to House Bill 1550 or the Free Public Wi-Fi bill.

The House Committee on Information and Communications Technology (ICT) unanimously voted for the bill's passage, Rappler said in its report. Its principal author, Representative Terry Ridon, said the bill is the government's initial step towards democratic access to the Internet.

In a statement, Ridon said: "Notwithstanding the issue of the mass accessibility and availability of personal electronic devices that people have to use in order to access public networks, the government has to recognise that the Internet is an important mechanism in delivering some of its services, and a valuable tool for people's participation in governance and in democracy."

The bill will provide free Internet connections in all government offices and public places across the country. These include city and municipal halls, parks, hospitals, state universities and colleges, and public transportation terminals such as bus stations, train stations and airports among others.

Ridon also said that the bill will offer provisions guaranteeing the effectiveness of the implementation.

Apart from providing a stable and free Internet connection that is available 24/7, one provision prohibits administrators to put passwords on hotspots. Also, the committee members ensured privacy by forbidding the collection of data from those who will connect to the Wi-Fi network.

The House plenary is set to tackle the proposed legislation, and Ridon remains positive that the bill will be passed before the House adjourns the current regular session.

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