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The Philippine Department of Science and Technology (DOST) will start rolling out the much-anticipated free public wi-fi on July 24 during the annual National Science and Technology week at SMX Convention Center.

The DOST has started the pilot testing of the hotspots in Quezon City Memorial Circle since the second week of July. Initial areas to enjoy the free wi-fi, aside from the QC Circle, include the Quezon City Hall, the Philippine Coconut Authority (PHILCOA) Building, the Social Security System (SSS) and the Land Transportation Office (LTO) in Quezon City, and Rizal Park.

It will soon be rolled out to other parts of the country in the coming weeks in stages.

The initial launch in QC areas is expected to draw at least 4,500 users, but DOST said they are prepared for at least 105,000 users.

The internet through these hotspots will have a minimum speed of 256 mbps with a daily allowance of 50 MB for each user. Beyond the usage, the users can still connect but at a lower speed.

DOST-ICT Office executive director Louis Casambre said the project forms part of the government initiative to provide the public easier access to necessary services.

The free wi-fi project was allocated P1.409-billion budget for this year’s General Appropriation Act (GAA). It will eventually have a nationwide coverage before the year ends.

DOST earlier said the program is one of the agency’s major initiatives in making science and technology more relevant to the daily lives of the Filipinos.

It is also a part of an even more ambitious project dubbed as “Juan, Konek!” Digital Empowerment Program which aims a 99-percent connectivity before the end of the third quarter of 2015.

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