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Free Wi-Fi on EDSA: Everything you need to know

In Business by Alora Uy Guerrero0 Comments

FOR commuters who regularly pass by the busiest thoroughfare in the Philippines, this is probably a welcome respite from the horrible traffic they usually face on the highway: The Department of Information and Communications Technology has formally launched its “free high-speed Wi-Fi on EDSA” project. This is in line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s promise to provide Filipinos better internet service.

READ ALSO: PLDT vs Globe vs Converge ICT: Fiber internet plans available

Recall that in his first State of the Nation Address, Duterte said he had directed the DICT to “develop a national broadband plan to accelerate the deployment of fiber optics cables and wireless technologies to improve internet speed.”

He added: “Wi-Fi access shall be provided at no charge in select public places, including parks, plazas, public libraries, schools, government hospitals, train stations, airports, and seaports.”

So what do you need to know about the free Wi-Fi service that has been launched today, June 12, to coincide with the celebration of the Philippine Independence Day? Read on.

  1. Smart Communications and Globe Telecom are private partners in this project, although the latter was the first to deploy free internet at Metro Rail Transit Line 3 stations. They are not charging the government for their services.
  2. Free Wi-Fi is available at all MRT-3 stations and on EDSA from Guadalupe to Cubao at street level. By July, coverage will already be from North Avenue to Taft Avenue. And by August, expect the initiative to cover the whole stretch of EDSA, from Balintawak to SM Mall of Asia.
  3. According to DICT Secretary Rodolfo Salalima, speeds should not go below 10Mbps.
  4. It doesn’t matter which mobile service provider you’re a subscriber of; the service is open to all. To get free internet access, join any one of these four Wi-Fi networks: the government’s “FREE EDSA wifi” and “Juan Konek” (heads-up, they will be merged into one: “PipolKonek”), Smart’s “SmartWifi,” and Globe’s “GoWiFi.”
  5. The government’s network has a daily data cap of 100MB per user. Here’s how to connect to its network.
  6. Internet access on the Smart network is unlimited and free for the first 30 minutes. If half an hour is not enough, you can buy a load card to extend your session for two hours (P20 or roughly $0.40, valid for two days) or 10 hours (P50 or around $1, valid for five days). Your choice. If you’re a Smart subscriber, you can top up for as low as P10 or about $0.20, for 30 minutes, valid for one day. Or you can always convert your Smart, Sun Cellular, or Talk ‘N Text load to Smart WiFi minutes by texting your preferred denomination — WIFI10, WIFI20, or WIFI50 — to 9991.
  7. Internet access on Globe’s network is also unlimited and free for the first 30 minutes. Once the free minutes are up, you can continue to browse by connecting to “GoWiFi_Auto.” Fifteen pesos (approximately $0.30) lets you enjoy 500MB worth of data allocation for one day; P50 gets you 1.5GB worth of data allocation for three days; and P99 (around $2) gives you 1.5GB data allocation for 30 days. You can pay via prepaid load or credit card, have it charged to your postpaid bill, or use Request-a-Fi, a feature that allows users to request for a GoWiFi package from their Globe or TM friends. FYI to new GoWiFi users, there’s a Free Trial promo valid until August 31, 2017, that will give you access to “GoWiFi_Auto” for three days.

Tried the free Wi-Fi connection on EDSA? Then share your experience with us. About to try the service and thinking of accessing torrent sites? The government has a message for you.

Additional info via ABS-CBN and CNN Philippines; Image via Smart

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Alora Uy Guerrero

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Editor-in-chief: Alora Uy Guerrero has over 15 years of experience as an editor for print and digital publications such as Yahoo. She took a year off from journalism to manage OPPO’s digital-marketing campaigns. When not busy freelancing as an editorial and social-media consultant, she’s working on Revü, a passion project — or probably traveling or obsessing over her furbabies and her favorite bands, movies, TV shows, and basketball teams.