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World Wi-Fi Day is HOPE for Connectivity

It was afternoon rush hour in Makati, and Dustin is walking down Ayala, four blocks away from his office’s building. Walking to the MRT instead of riding a bus or jeepney makes him avoid the traffic jam and gives him much needed alone time with his thoughts. Suddenly, he felt his phone vibrate, and to his dismay, it was his boss. “Check your mail, client is asking a rewrite of the copy now”, said the text message. Dustin, couldn’t possibly walk back to his office and do the rewrite in time. Good thing, the next coffee shop is a few more steps down the road and going there wouldn’t make him stray from his way home.

The convenience that Wi-Fi technologies made possible comes in many forms. Wired technologies would most probably require tedious, not to mention, messy setup when requesting the garcon for an internet hook-up for your laptop. Although, it is not at all limited to just being able to access free internet while eating your favorite pasta or while downing a morning espresso.

Wi-Fi technologies made possible what we as a people were not able to do in the past, to go beyond the boundaries set by cables and wires. It enabled us to reach otherwise unreachable communities and gave chance to the rise of ubiquitous connectivity wherever one may be.

The Wireless Broadband Alliance, in recognition of Wi-Fi’s contribution to connecting the unconnected has declared June 20, 2016 as the very first World Wi-Fi Day; Pushing forth the H.O.P.E. for connectivity charter which serves as an invite to decision makers, implementers and technology champions alike to join hand in hand in bridging the connectivity gap through wireless technologies.

HELP – Fund and support Wi-Fi deployments for underserved & unconnected

OFFER – Access to more affordable internet through public Wi-Fi networks

PROMOTE – Promote current Wi-Fi initiatives of industry & governments to connect the unconnected

ENGAGE – Engage to recognize the role of Wi-Fi in addressing the digital divide

Government bodies, companies, the academe and other groups are enjoined to battle the growing threat of inequality that comes with the digital divide. With June 20 as the commemoration of all these efforts, initiatives, studies and investments become more aligned and united to give humanity a better fighting chance against this common enemy.

For instance, the Department of ICT’s Juan, Konek! Free Wi-Fi Internet Access in Public Places Project strives to connect unserved and underserved communities across class 1 to 6 municipalities throughout the country. Such initiatives aim to cultivate an ICT environment where everyone has the chance to go online and access information as well as government services, no matter where they are.

Together, we can provide hope for a truly connected future, where even those in the rural areas, the small barrios, and those out of coverage of prevailing telecommunications infrastructure can enjoy the same benefits that Dustin, and more like him, take advantage of everyday. With everyone connected, no one is left behind.

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