Law providing free internet access in public places signed

August 2, 2017 - 10:31 PM
A phone shows wifi connection at EDSA-Ortigas. (photo by Michael Varcas, PhilStar)

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte signed Wednesday (August 2) the bill that establishes free internet access in public places, a measure touted by government as a boost to productivity, competitiveness and connectivity.

Republic Act 10929 that laid down a Free Public Internet Access Program covers public places such as government offices, state universities and colleges, hospitals and health centers, parks and plazas, libraries, airports and seaports, transport terminals, among others.

Under the Program, connecting to public internet access points will be free of charge. The free internet service provided will be separate from the internet service used for back-end computer and information systems in government offices, and technical solutions restricting access may be employed when a clear and present technical risk has occurred.

The Free Public Internet Access Fund (FPIAF), under the management of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), was created to provide funding for the implementation of the Program.

Sen. Grace Poe, a co-sponsor of the measure, hailed its signing into law.

Libre na ang internet para sa pag-aaral, komunikasyon at maging sa serbisyo-publiko. Inaasahan nating magiging tulay ito tungo sa kaalaman at pantay na oportunidad para sa lahat ng Pilipino, lalo na sa mga kabataan [Internet is now free for education, communication and public service. We trust this will truly pave the way for boosting knowledge and equal opportunity for all Filipinos, especially the youth],” Poe said in a statement.