The City Government is set to roll out free public wifi next month.
The project, which is part of Mayor Mike Rama’s priorities in the first 100 days of his new term, is already in the process of being bid out to identify the internet service provider (ISP).
“We are happy nga we are already done with the inspections and surveys, and we have identified the locations for the free public wifi. Karon, naa na ni sa bidding process,” Management Information and Computer Services (MICS) Head Richter Castañares told Cebu City News.
The first phase of the project will cover 50 barangays.
The winning bidder will supply fiber broadband internet access with a bandwidth of 100 mbps per barangay.
It will also install and configure the access points in each barangay, which will have one identified location for the wifi, most of which are in the barangay halls.
The other locations are sports complexes, gyms, fire stations, or public markets.
With the bidding already underway, MICS expects the project to be awarded to a winning ISP by October; afterwhich, they will immediately implement the project.
The MICS has already meet with several ISPs such as Globe, PLDT, and Converge, which have signified interest to bid for the project.
Management Information and Computer Services (MICS) Head Richter Castañares
“By the time ma-up na ang free wifi, nindot na kaayo ni. Daghan na maka-avail ani sa mga barangays. Mao man gyud na ang mandate ni mayor. Malipay gyud ang atong mga constituents,” Castañares said.
The free wifi project is also mandated under the “Barangay Internet Access Points Ordinance” authored by former Councilor Eduardo Rama, Jr. and passed by the previous City Council in 2021.
The ordinance aims to promote easy access to information and services relevant to the delivery of public services, through the use of wireless internet; facilitate the mediums of learning and information technology through cost-efficient use of the wireless internet; and facilitate competitiveness through information and communication technology among barangays.
MICS Assistant Department Head Conrado Ordesta III, though, said only 50 barangays are included in the first phase of the project since these barangays already have existing fiber connections in their areas.
MICS Assistant Department Head Conrado Ordesta III
The 50 barangays included in the first phase are the following: Apas, Bacayan, Banilad, Basak Pardo, Basak San Nicolas, Bulacao, Calamba,
Capitol Site, Cogon Pardo, Cogon Ramos, Day‑as, Duljo Fatima, Ermita, Guadalupe, Hipodromo, Inayawan, Kalubihan, Kamagayan,
Kamputhaw, Kasambagan, Kinasang‑an Pardo, Labangon, Lorega‑San Miguel, Mabolo, Mambaling, Pahina Central, Pahina San Nicolas,
Pari-an, Pasil, Pit-os, Poblacion Pardo, Punta Princesa, Quiot, Sambag I, Sambag II, San Antonio, San Jose, San Nicolas Proper, Santa Cruz,
Santo Niño, San Roque, Sapangdaku, Sawang Calero, Suba, T. Padilla (Villa Gonzalo), Talamban, Tejero, Tinago, Tisa, Zapatera.
The remaining 30 barangays, which are in the mountainous areas, still don’t have existing fiber connections, preventing existing ISPs from reaching them.
To address this, Ordesta said they will coordinate with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to help provide wireless internet connection in the 30 barangays.
He said this will involve the use of IP Radio that DICT can provide. The City Government, for its part, will provide the access points and antennas to be installed in the barangays. (Cebu City News & Information)