(Video will go public in the coming days)
Let’s take an updated and corrected look at the free WIFI offering from the DICT in the Philippines.
I previously looked at the Smart WIFI and GoWifi (Globe) free WIFI projects along EDSA. But what I didn’t clarify is that those are actually private offerings alongside the official DICT free WIFI project which is a government project (Juan Konek, Pipol Konek).
Smart and Globe pretty much have a duopoly on the telecom market in the Philippines. As such, DICT chose them as partners for the free WIFI project. Aside from supporting DICT in the governments free WIFI project, both companies also installed their own free WIFI access-points along EDSA.
Smart / Globe VS. DICT?
Both Smart WIFI and Globe WIFI give you 30 minutes for free and then you have to start paying. As far as I know, Smart and Globe don’t make any promises as to the expected speed and it can vary hugely depending on the location. For example, I’ve seen Smart WIFI in a Starbucks which was using a 5Mbps DSL connection. Inside airports, malls and MRT stations, you’ll typically see 50-100Mbps.
The DICT free WIFI is also known as Juan Konek or Pipol Konek and gives you 50MB per day, without any time limit. Or 100MB per day if you register and submit an ID. While it was originally known as Juan Konek, the name was later changed to Pipol Konek to be more gender neutral.
Strangely, the EDSA access points are now using the SSID ‘DICT FREE EDSA WIFI’ instead of ‘Pipol Konek’.
Although minor changes to the name, the constant changes do make the project look a little disorganized.
DICT free WIFI coverage
At the time of writing this post, DICT claim to have Pipol Konek access points installed in over 12,841 public locations. A pretty impressive undertaking.
The contact/feedback link on the FreePublicWifi.gov.ph website goes to a dead page. The JuanKonek Facebook account has been closed. My email to [email protected] has not been replied to after 5 days. DICT have not responded to Facebook messages. I called the DICT and was transferred between two people and then transferred to extension 1022 which is just voicemail because the person isn’t available.
I shouldn’t be surprised. I just expected more from the agency considering it’s only existed for a year.