Expansion of Wi-Fi areas in Baguio bolstered with new accord

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The city government and the Philippine Long-Distance Telephone (PLDT) and its subsidiary Smart Communications, Inc. entered into a memorandum of agreement for the roll-out of fiber-powered, carrier-grade Smart Wi-Fi to cover more sites across the city.

The agreement is aimed at increasing the areas covered with fast, free and reliable connectivity that will include Mines View Park, Burnham Park, Baguio City Public Market, Malcom Square, Wright Park, Baguio Convention Center, Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center and additional sites along Session road.

Smart Wi-Fi is currently up in heavy foot-traffic areas in the city, including the Baguio City Hall, the Camp, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Regional Office along Upper Session Road, PARTAS bus terminal and St. Louis University (SLU).

The roll-out of Smart Wi-Fi in Baguio City compliments the ongoing expansion of Smart’s LTE network and PLDT’s fiber-to-home services in the city and the rest of the country.

Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong signed the agreement with Smart Wi-Fi head Regina P. Pineda and PLDT Enterprise community relations manager Dennis G. Magbatoc.

At the same time, Smart turned over to the city government Smart Infocast, a web-based text message broadcast solution that can enable the city to send out news broadcast and other critical information to its employees via text message.

Further, the platform will also allow residents to send feedback to the city government on various issues and concerns confronting the city.

Part of the ongoing project of the city government is digital transformation or the enhancement of connectivity to allow for the conduct of faster transactions in the different offices of the city government and other concerned government agencies.

PLDT officials asserted that by improving connectivity and expanding the footprint of its fiber-powered Smart Wi-Fi service in the city, the company is helping in the robust growth of the city tourism industry, as well as city businesses operating in one of the country’s premier tourist destination.

According to them, better connectivity means residents can stay connected with their family and friends while shopping along Session road, share their photos and videos while sight-seeing in Mines View and Burnham Park, or stay updated while transacting business with the different offices at City Hall, NBI regional office or at the Baguio hospital.

Moreover, passengers at the PARTAS bus terminal can likewise check their hotel reservations online, while students at SLU can use carrier-grade Smart Wi-Fi for research and other academic requirements.

The partnership between PLDT-Smart and the City Government is the latest in Smart WIFI’s ramped-up expansion campaign, which has recently covered cities across the country, including Manila, San Juan, Iloilo, Lapu-lapu City and San Fernando City in Pampanga among other similarly situated areas in the different parts of the country.

The agreement will be transmitted to the city legislative body by the City Mayor for confirmation pursuant to the provisions of Republic Act (RA) 7160 or the Local Government Code of the Philippines.

By Dexter A. See