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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Gatchalian laments inadequacy of internet connectivity

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Senator Sherwin Gatchalian reiterated his concerns over the alarming gaps in internet access across the Philippines, stressing its potential to impede economic growth if left unaddressed.

Gatchalian said a lot of Filipinos particularly in the rural areas remain cut off from cyberspace, hindering progress.

Citing data from the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) based on recent surveys, the senator acknowledged a notable increase in household internet access. But he emphasized the urgent need for comprehensive connectivity nationwide.

“Without a doubt, the internet is the most game-changing technology that continues to reshape the way we live our lives. It is unfortunate that even after 30 years of internet presence in the country, a sizable portion of our population continues to miss out on its benefits,” Gatchalian lamented.

Recognizing the internet’s pivotal role in education, commerce, communication, and more, the senator underscored the need for the government to intensify its efforts in providing wider network coverage.

To this end, he has proposed Senate Bill No. 814, advocating for the adoption and advancement of satellite-based technologies to expand internet reach across the archipelago.

Explaining the mechanism behind satellite-based internet, Gatchalian outlined its potential to bridge connectivity gaps, especially in crucial sectors such as e-government services, education, healthcare, and disaster response.

The DICT has revealed plans to double the number of free Wi-Fi sites nationwide. This aims to narrow the digital divide, which persists despite strides in connectivity.

The Philippines was first connected to the internet on March 29, 1994.

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