The Philippine government has an ambitious program to provide free public Wi-Fi to all citizens in all public places in the country underpinned by legislation that passed in 2017 that mandates the government’s Department of Information and Communications (DICT) to implement the Free Public Internet Access Program. Under the law, no fees shall be collected from users to connect to public internet access points installed in public places throughout the country, including public parks, plazas, libraries, barangay centers, national and local government offices, public basic education institutions; state universities and colleges, public hospitals, rural health units, public airports and seaports, and public transport terminals. As of June 2019, a total of 2,677 sites were operational under this Free Public Wi-Fi program. To accelerate the roll-out, a new partnership between the United Nations Development Program (UNDP)and DICT was launched in 2018, to add an additional 6,000 last mile sites, located in remotest, unserved and disadvantaged communities.
The main outcome of this partnership is to ensure that women and men from disadvantaged communities are able to improve their educational attainment, deepen their engagement in governance processes, and avail of opportunities for economic development through increased access to up to 6,000 public Wi-Fi hotspots.