The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) continues rolling out its BroadBand ng Masa Project (BBMP), providing internet connection to residents in far-flung islands in the Philippines.
This time, the DICT is bringing free Wi-Fi to the islands of Sacol, Pangapuyan, and Tictabon in the southern part of Mindanao. Sacol Island, in particular, is the largest of the three with a population of over 12,000 residents.
DICT Secretary Ivan John Uy said these islands previously did not have access to mobile cellular services and regularly lose electricity at night time.
“They have to take a PHP 200 ‘banca (boat)’ ride from that island to Zamboanga City in order to attend classes or in order to speak to their relatives abroad,” Uy said.
Through BBMP, residents in these areas no longer need to travel far (or in this case, ride a boat) to connect to the internet.
In areas with limited access to electricity, the project provides solar and gas-powered generators.
According to Uy, 100% connectivity in the Philippines is still not possible due to the DICT’s limited budget. But the rollout of free internet will be easier and faster once Starlink is operational in the country, Uy adds.