PLDT wireless unit Smart Communications, Inc. is expanding the reach of its Barangay Connect program to more cities across the country.
The program aims to provide free WiFi to barangays and bring connectivity closer to communities. Initially deployed in Antipolo, Mandaluyong, Las Pinas, General Santos, and Nueva Ecija, the project is also being rolled out in Lapu-Lapu, Cebu City, and Mandaue in Cebu; Malabon, Paranaque, Pateros, and San Juan in Metro Manila, Manaoag in Pangasinan, Cagayan de Oro and Iligan in Mindanao, Lipa in Batangas, and Binangonan in Rizal.
“Going digital will make our lives easy, it will make transactions faster, it will shorten the processes and ensure the fast delivery of service. Before this was only a dream, but now, it has been realized. Again, we thank our partners PLDT and Smart for working with us to make this dream possible,” said Junard Chan, mayor of Lapu-Lapu City, who has recently teamed up with Smart to provide fast and reliable Smart WiFi connectivity to the city’s 19 barangays via Smart Barangay Connect.
The project is seen to help the LGU deliver faster government services, kickstart the city’s tourism businesses, and aid their learners in their online classes amid the pandemic.
“Our mission is to keep Filipinos connected, especially through this world crisis. As part of this commitment, we continuously roll out fast and reliable WiFi while teaming up with local governments, enterprises, and the academe in creating a better tomorrow where everyone is digitally empowered,” said Alfredo Panlilio, president and CEO, PLDT Inc. and Smart Communications.
“We are specially positioned to serve the evolving needs of our customers in the new normal, with Wifi being among the solutions that we are offering to those who continue to need connectivity to work remotely, study online, stay connected with family and loved ones, and keep themselves entertained from the safety of their homes,” said Jane Basas Smart SVP and head of consumer wireless business.
PLDT and Smart’s network ecosystem, which also includes fiber, LTE, and 5G infrastructure, supports the Philippines’ increasingly connected societies.
“Now more than ever, connectivity is vital in enabling smart cities that are inclusive, resilient, and sustainable,” said Jovy Hernandez, ePLDT President & CEO and SVP & head for PLDT and Smart enterprise business group.
“It is our aspiration to be the preferred technology partner for cities, to create the right mix of innovations and solutions for LGUs and organizations, and deliver real value to their constituents and customers,” he added.
Smart Barangay Connect is supported by PLDT’s fiber infrastructure, the most extensive in the Philippines at more than 511,000 kilometers as of June 2021. This fiber network also supports Smart’s mobile network, which covers 96% of the population from Batanes to Tawi-Tawi.
PLDT and Smart’s push to provide connectivity for all is aligned with the group’s long-standing commitment to help the Philippines attain the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG #9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure and SDG #11: Sustainable Cities and Communities.