BAGUIO CITY – The Luzon cluster of the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT) disclosed that major telecommunication companies and contractors of the government’s multi-billion free Wi-Fi project in the region backed out from the implementation of the ICT project because of the alleged non-feasibility of the market in the Cordillera.
Rufo Sotelo, Jr. of the DICT Luzon cluster said the government bidded out the free Wi-Fi project to interested bidders anew with the hope there will be takers for the putting in place of the major systems in the region to allow connectivity in the countryside, especially that the terrain in most parts of the region is difficult to access.
He explained that even the two telecommunication companies have given up in their bid to implement the free Wi-Fi project in the region for still unknown reasons as company officials have signified to be simply be paid of what they have initially invested for other companies to possibly takeover to realize the purpose of enhancing connectivity among communities around the country.
“The agency wants to fastrack the completion of the free Wi-Fi project in the region to ensure there will be increased inter-connectivity but we encountered problems on the willingness of contractors to complete the project considering that there are no takers for the installation of the necessary systems in the different parts of the region,” Sotelo stressed.
The DICT official claimed that from the fourth to sixth class municipalities that were prioritized by the previous administration that will benefit from the project, the government expanded the coverage of the program to include all provinces, cities and first to sixth class municipalities for purposes of inclusivity among people in the different parts of the archipelago.
According to him, DICT officials remain optimistic that there will be takers in the present bidding being undertaken for the sustained implementation of the project so that people in the remote communities of the region will be inter-connected with other people around the world aside from the possibility that investors will be enticed to explore the rich ecotourism sites in the region that could serve as a potential economic driver by generating jobs for qualified residents and providing additional sources of livelihood for the people.
The Cordillera is one of the regions identified by government agencies as having the least connectivity because of the absence of sufficient telecommunication systems that can contribute in improving the state of development regionwide.
Sotelo claimed that concerned government agencies are doing their best for the realization of the government’s free wifi program in the region and that there is no truth to the allegation the Cordillera is being left out in the implementation of the project considering that contractors refuse to work on the systems needed to be put in place as there are still available remedies for the completion of the project in due time.
Earlier, the Cordillera Regional Development Council (RDC-CAR) urged concerned government agencies to facilitate the immediate implementation of the government’s free wifi project considering that people in the countryside are now complaining of their inability to have access to the world through the connectivity program.