A party-list representative on Saturday urged the Senate to fast track the passage of the bill providing free public Wi-Fi.
“Passing a law that mandates government to provide fast and reliable internet connectivity in public places, especially in our 113 state universities and colleges, is one step towards improving Philippine Internet,” Kabataan Rep. Terry Ridon said in a press statement.
He stressed that in its own way, public Internet connectivity will help bolster the economy and provide students and the general public essential tools in the digital age.
The House of Representatives has approved on third and final reading House Bill 5791 or the Free Public Wi-Fi Act.
“With the passage of the bill, the House of Representatives acted to move government one step forward in providing democratic access to the Internet. In this light, we urge our colleagues in the Senate to fast-track a counterpart bill for HB 5791,” Ridon said.
The proposed measure seeks to provide free internet connectivity in buildings of all national government offices including its regional and satellite offices, in municipal halls and in provincial capitols, in state universities and colleges, in public parks and plazas, in public hospitals and even in public transportation terminals such as airports and public bus stations.
It also states that there should be 24/7 stability and reliability of the public broadband hotspots, and contains a provision that will prohibit administrators and managers of public broadband hotspots from collecting user data from people who will connect to the public Wi-Fi network.
HB 5791 also provides that free Internet access should be provided without restrictions in the form of passwords and other similar mechanisms.