PLDT wireless unit Smart Communications, Inc. is partnering with the City Government of General Santos in rolling out fast, free and reliable Smart WiFi in the city as part of Smart’s Barangay Connect project.
Under the partnership, Smart is deploying fiber-powered WiFi connectivity to General Santos City’s barangays to support the city’s projects, including the barangay community E-learning Hub (AKLAT Program).
“Hand in hand with PLDT and Smart, we are taking General Santos City to the next level through the provision of quality connectivity to our citizens. Connectivity is key in the new normal, especially for the youth, who rely on the Internet to be able to continue with their online learning or pursue their hobbies,” said Mayor Ronnel C. Rivera. “It is also important for our citizens who need it to work from home, to stay updated about COVID-19 and the vaccine rollout or run their online businesses,” he added.
“As the connectivity needs of our customers continue to evolve in the new normal, we also continue to look for innovative ways to effectively address them. Wi-Fi is among the key solutions we are rolling out to make quality connectivity and our services more accessible to more Filipinos,” said Jane J. Basas, Smart Senior Vice President and Head of Consumer Wireless Business.
To assist in the city’s COVID-19 response, Smart has also provided the city with phones for their COVID-19 hotline, particularly their mental health intervention program, supplied PPE and disinfectants to the General Santos City Health Office, and supported PUV and tricycle drivers impacted by the pandemic through the TODAMax Program-Amigo sa Kalsada sa Gensan initiative.
Smart has also deployed Smart Infocast, a web-based text message broadcast solution that will help the General Santos local government and the Sangguniang Kabataan Federation disseminate information among their stakeholders more efficiently.
The LGU, in partnership with Smart, has also provided communications support to 5,000 public school teachers in General Santos in the form of mobile phones and monthly GIGA Study packages for a year. has also provided communications support to 5,000 public school teachers in General Santos in the form of mobile phones and monthly GIGA Study packages for a year.
Smart is also supporting the city’s month-long GenSan Summer Youth Festival, which includes livestreamed events such as a Mobile Legends Tournament, a Pop Idol tilt, and other events for the youth.
These initiatives are part of Smart’s “Live Smarter for a Better World” campaign highlighting Smart’s long-running community partnership programs and Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives. Through the campaign, Smart also seeks to inspire individuals to create lasting positive impact to society through “personal revolutions”, powered by connectivity.
“Our mission at PLDT and Smart is to connect more Filipinos across the country. To do this, we have been working with local governments and enabling them with tools that can help them deliver government services faster and serve their constituents better despite the pandemic’s challenges,” said Alex O. Caeg, SVP and Head of Consumer Sales Group at PLDT and Smart.
Smart’s Barangay Connect project, which aims to provide free WiFi to barangays and bring connectivity closer to communities, will soon be rolled out in key areas around the country, starting with Antipolo, Mandaluyong, Las Pinas, General Santos, and Nueva Ecija.
Enabling this partnership is parent company PLDT’s fiber infrastructure, the most extensive in the country at more than 429,000 kilometers.
The deployment of Smart WiFi is part of PLDT and Smart’s nationwide rollout and expansion of their integrated fixed wireless networks. To date, Smart’s wireless network, the fastest mobile network in the country according to third-party analytics firm Ookla, covers 96% of the Philippine population from Batanes to Tawi-Tawi.