Smart Communications –
Poe pushes bill on free WiFi to transport terminals

Senator Grace Poe, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Public Services, is pushing her vision through the Senate Bill 1695 which targets to provide Filipino commuters with free access to broadband connectivity in terminals.

In pushing for its approval, Poe noted the enactment of the Republic Act No. 10929 or the Free Internet Access in Public Places Act, which creates a “Free Internet Access Program” in all public places in the country.

Her proposed law would demand owners, operators or administrators of transportation terminals, stations, stops and rest areas to collaborate with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) in setting up necessary infrastructure to make sure that the free service will be delivered to passengers.

Furthermore, the bill requires transportation terminals to have clean sanitary facilities for passengers that are free of charge.

The Senate recently approved a bill to allow Filipino cellphone users keep their numbers for life.

On February 20, Senate Bill No. 1636 or the proposed “The Lifetime Cellphone Number Act” got a nod from the Senate.

The said bill was sponsored and authored by Senator Sherwin Gathchalian, chair of the Senate Committee on Economic Affairs.

It god 20 yes votes, without abstentions and negative votes.

Even if Filipinos shift from one service provider or subscription plan to another, they will be able to keep their numbers, the bill stated.

Public telecommunications companies will be demanded to provide consumers with mobile number portability (MNP) to allow them to change network providers at no cost.

These services providers have to implement the MNP within 24 hours, or they could be penalized of up to P1 million.

“The bill would give consumers them the freedom to choose the provider that would give the best value for their money without having to lose or change their mobile numbers,” Gatchalian said.

However, Filipinos should not be bothered as their data will remain confidential under the Data Privacy Act of 2012.