We constantly scour the internet looking for cheap internet news our readers can use. So we were excited when we read about a nationwide free internet plan being proposed in the Senate. Very excited.
Then it occurred to us that we had never heard of the Senator who proposed this plan. When we Googled him, we found out he was a Senator in the Philippines Senate, not the American Senate.
At first we were embarrassed that we made such a stupid error. But the more we thought about it, our embarrassment was replaced by anger.
How, we wondered, can a relatively poor country like the Philippines afford to offer a free national internet access system when rich country like America can’t? It just isn’t right. It clearly demonstrates a problem with priorities
Free internet in public places, including schools and terminals, is now closer to reality with a Senate bill up for plenary approval by January
…The proposal seeks to provide free internet access in all national and local government offices; public schools, including state colleges and universities; public hospitals and health centers; public parks, plazas, and libraries; and airports, seaports, and transport terminals.
…“Now is the time to invest completely in developing internet quality and bringing this powerful tool to every port, every station, every park, every museum, and every classroom…,” the senator said.
…The program shall involve the establishment of the infrastructure, installation of equipment, and the creation of an online platform and application necessary to provide free internet access to the public.
… “How do we let thousands of free WiFi spots bloom? By fixing the upstream first. If this bill will provide the gateway and the impetus for reforms, propelled by the critical mass of users, then it is the greatest-value service it can provide,” Recto pointed out.
He said expanding the country’s information and communications technology (ICT) capability will boost jobs and the economy.
“This bill goes beyond installing taxpayer funded free WiFi spots. Like the creation of the DICT, it forms part of the must-dos to future-proof our country. It is one of the important apps for tomorrow,” Recto added.
This is a national disgrace. The internet was invented and developed by American companies with American ingenuity and American technology.
Every member of the United States Senate should be embarrassed that their counterparts in the western Pacific are addressing the issue of internet access for the poor while they sit silently in elegant marbled halls of Washington, DC.
America’s neediest citizens desperately need internet access. Without it, they can’t get jobs. The can’t keep in touch with medical professionals. Their kids can’t do their homework. They’ll fall further and further behind the rest of America.
We have a new President who was elected by underemployed Americans who want to see things change. We urge him and other leaders in Washington to take action soon.