While the entire Philippines never anticipated the outbreak of COVID-19, the Department of Information Communications Technology (DICT) office in Northern Mindanao (Region X) has been preparing for boosting digitalization, which includes the establishment of more free Wi-Fi sites.

DICT Assistant Regional Director Frederick D.C. Amores said: “Even before the start of this pandemic, we have been embarking on making connectivity available in various institutions, which is still an ongoing project, the free Wi-Fi initiative.”

Amores explained that there are still some areas without Internet connection due to not being viable for commercial telcos to come in, but they are looking at how to solve the situation. One such solution is the use of satellites to cover those areas with no signal or connection, although they’re costly.

“This is a challenge to the government but we are trying with the resources. We have to bring connectivity, especially in rural areas, because this is what is needed now,” he said.

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