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Tuesday, 21 November 2023

DICT activates 110 free Wi-Fi spots in Caraga

By Renelle L. Escuadro

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) recently embarked on the Universal Service for Internet Access in Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (UISGIDA) through the activation of 110 free public Wi-Fi access points in 44 different locations in Caraga region.

UISGIDA, under the DICT’s free Wi-Fi for all program, strove to bring fast and reliable internet access to unserved and underserved areas of the country, thereby unlocking educational and economic opportunities and community empowerment.

Caraga is considered a perfect match for this milestone as the region, with its landscape and topography, is known for having ample far-flung, landlocked, and island areas that are mostly the homes of the five dominant indigenous peoples (IP) communities, namely, Manobo, Mamanwa, Higaonon, Banwaon, and Mandaya.

The project ensures that schools, municipal and barangay halls, and health centers in these areas are priority locations for the installation of free public Wi-Fi.  The municipality of Remedios T. Romualdez (RTR) in  Agusan del Norte, with its nine schools, municipal hall, health center, and Tagbongabong Barangay Hall, served as beneficiary sites.

Moreover, the connectivity project also reached the island of Siargao in Surigao del Norte to strengthen tourism and economic activities, as the place was recently recognized as an ideal hub for digital nomads and one of Asia’s best island destinations.

The local government units of Santa Monica, San Isidro, and San Benito, all in Siargao Island, gladly received the 13 additional free public Wi-Fi units from DICT – Caraga, including the Santa Monica Public Park and Recreation Center, San Isidro Legislative Building and Super Health Center, and the San Benito Tourism Assistance Center, which will pave the way for local and international tourists to fully explore the remaining beautiful towns of the island as services in communication and technology are now in place.

DICT – Caraga Regional Director Sittie Rahma V. Alawi disclosed that the region is blessed because projects are now in the pipeline for Caraga and will be launched soon, including infrastructure in communications and technology.

“Certainly, DICT upholds its commitment to bridging the digital divide and is working tirelessly to ensure people can have access to stable and reliable internet connections, whether in a bustling city or a remote village,“ Dir. Alawi said. (RLE/PIA-Caraga)