A new plan from the government of the Philippines would offer free wireless internet to people across the country while also likely eating into the annual revenue of the nation’s telecoms.
A crowdsourced hotspot service from Swedish Telecom will be the provider. According to newsmagazine Bloomberg the Philippines will have nationwide free WiFi by the end of 2016.
The Philippines government plans to roll-out its free Wi-Fi services to roughly half of the country’s municipalities over the next few months and the country has its sights set on nationwide coverage by the end of 2016. The free wireless internet service will be made available in public areas such as schools, hospitals, airports and parks, and is expected to cost the government roughly $32 million per year.
The goal is to expand internet access to areas of the country currently without access while also lowering the country’s relatively expensive internet costs. A research shows the average internet cost in the Philippines are around 18 dollars for each megabit/second compared to the global average of about 5 dollar.
Another goal is the hope for a limited data access service will stimulate demand for a better one and improve mobile data service take-up once users get a taste.
The plan about the entire nation will have free internet access meets some obstables. According to Bloomberg the budget to support the service is around 32 million dollars/year are not realistic big enough to provide free government WiFi to all public places by the end of 2016. Second is the geography of the Phillippines, which consists of more than 2000 inhabited islands. These many islands represents a lot of connectivity diffuculty and expense and is no doubt one of the main reasons why the providers (Philippine Long Distance Telephone and Globe Telecom) have failed to deliver lower priced mobile connections until now.