June 4, 2020
DIGITAL

Smart, DICT Provide Free Wi-Fi for Covid-19 Healthcare Facilities

Smart, DICT, free Wi-Fi, Internet, Covid-19, ICT

Media Release:

MANILA– AS part of its efforts to equip Covid-19 medical front-liners with reliable data connectivity, PLDT wireless subsidiary  Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) is providing fast, free and 24/7 Smart Wi-Fi to several major newly-activated Covid-19 facilities.

Smart is rolling out carrier-grade fiber-powered Smart Wi-Fi to the Ninoy Aquino Stadium at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex, the Philippine International Convention Center Tent and the World Trade Center.  These large venues  have  been converted into Covid-19 treatment facilities that will handle persons under monitoring (PUMs) and patients under investigation (PUIs).

Smart has also installed Wi-Fi connectivity at the La Salle Greenhills campus in Mandaluyong which now houses health workers from nearby hospitals. These Wi-Fi installations, which have a capacity of up to 1 Gigabyte per second, are the latest in PLDT-Smart’s ongoing efforts to provide communications support to frontline agencies and their personnel such as the Departments of Health, Transportation, Public Works, the Armed Forces and police, local governments and non-governmental organizations in different parts of the country.

Smart, DICT, free Wi-Fi, Internet, Covid-19, ICT
Rizal Memorial Sports Complex, Malate, Manila. (Photo: Smart)

“These new quarantine sites will decongest hospitals in Metro Manila, thus reducing community transmission while protecting our health care workers.  We’d like to thank Smart for providing high-speed Wi-Fi.  This will help  the facility managers to coordinate with one another as well as  patients so that they can keep in touch with their families and  loved ones,” said Public Works Secretary Mark Villar.

“A major focus of our activities at PLDT and Smart this time is to arm frontliners in the fight against Covid-19 with strong connectivity and innovative digital tools.  We look forward to more of this type of collaboration with government and non-governmental organizations,” said Manuel V. Pangilinan, chairman and CEO of PLDT.

Smart Wi-Fi connectivity is also available in provincial capitols, city and municipal halls across the country, which are being used as a base of operations for local government logistics, transportation and relief, as well as in hospitals, supermarkets and convenience stores. (Smart)

Smart, DICT, free Wi-Fi, Internet, Covid-19, ICT

In the same vein, more than 30 Covid-19 monitoring and control centers, including designated quarantine areas, lodging for front-liners, and emergency operations centers are now Internet-connected through the Department of Information and Communications Technology’s (DICT) Free Wi-Fi for All Program.

Among these free Wi-Fi-enabled facilities are the Ninoy Aquino Stadium (RMSC) in Malate, Manila; Leyte Provincial Emergency Operations Center in Palo, Leyte; Covid-19 Center for Central Visayas located at the Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu in Cebu City; and Incident Command Post/Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) against Covid-19 in Dipolog City, Zamboanga del Norte.

In addition, there are also existing free Wi-Fi services in five accredited Covid-19 testing centers nationwide. These are in the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Muntinlupa City, San Lazaro Hospital in Manila, Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City, Lung Center of the Philippines in Quezon City, and Western Visayas Medical Center in Iloilo City.

The Department said provision of free Internet connectivity and access to these facilities will enable swift data gathering and exchange. It will also give front-liners and patients the opportunity to communicate with their loved ones to let them know of their situation.

“The DICT is committed to respond to the challenge that this pandemic has brought. Now, more than ever, connecting the Filipino to the Internet, especially those fighting in the frontlines of this war, has become an important task — crucial to aid communication between these facilities and help our medical professionals and other front-liners stay connected with their loved ones,” DICT Secretary Gregorio B. Honasan II said.

Pursuant to President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s directive to the DICT as member of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), the Free Wi-Fi for All Program aims to accelerate the Philippine government’s efforts in enhancing Internet accessibility during the Covid-19 crisis.

You may visit the Free Wi-Fi for All website at freepublicwifi.gov.ph for the updated lists of sites covered by the program. (DICT)

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