Just when you thought that internet connection couldn’t get any better, we were in for a surprise at the Bacolod-Silay International Airport when Smart launched its free high-speed internet access at the airport. Now, travelers going through the airport are in for a richer digital experience with the upgrade of the terminal’s data connectivity by PLDT and wireless subsidiary Smart Communications. And the best thing is, it’s FREE.
With a bandwidth of up to 1 gigabit per second, Wifi users will have the best experience online whether surfing the web for their favorite sites, or keeping connected with home and office while traveling. This is perfect for the last-minute reports you needed to submit before you fly off somewhere or just to kill the time watching videos while waiting for your flight.
The installation of Smart Wifi in the Bacolod Airport comes one after the other of similar initiatives in other airports in the country, namely, Davao City’s Francisco Bangoy International Airport, Misamis Oriental’s Laguindingan Airport, Iloilo International Airport, and Clark International Airport. “A tourist’s impression of a country will be largely based on the first and last experience of his destination. Smart Wifi contributes to improving this experience and to the success of having them come over and visit again,” explained Transportation Undersecretary Roberto Lim during the rollout in Davao City’s airport.
The Bacolod airport is the primary gateway to Negros Island, and is one of two active airports serving Negros Island, the other being Dumaguete Airport in Sibulan, Negros Oriental. It accounts for about a fifth of the air passenger traffic in Western Visayas. So the installation of the Smart Wifi at the aiport is a big boost to the region’s tourism industry, as travelers can immediately post snaps of their local travel while lounging at the pre-departure area. “In this digital age, data connectivity is important especially when one is on the go. With Smart Wifi, travelers will get to enjoy a seamless digital experience for more productive and meaningful journeys,” said Eric R. Alberto, EVP for PLDT/Smart, and president and CEO, ePLDT.
The government has earmarked over P20 billion for the upgrade of the airport under the private-public partnership (PPP) scheme. The project covers the expansion of the passenger terminal building, which will boost its capacity to about 3.1 million passengers annually. The Bacolod, Iloilo, Laguindingan, and Davao airports are among the 21 key transport hubs identified by the DOTr for installation of Smart Wifi to bring the internet into the hands of more Filipinos all over the country. The rollout includes all four passenger terminals of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport as well as airports in Dumaguete, Kalibo, General Santos, Clark, Laoag, Cebu, Caticlan, and Zamboanga. Also in the list are key seaports in Southern Luzon as well as MRT 3, and LRT lines 1 and 2 for Metro Manila.
At the airport, users can easily access Smart Wifi from anywhere at the terminal, even as far as the parking lot. They can surf through the web or access their social media accounts, as long as they are not going through sensitive sites or adult-related content. The experience for me was so awesome that if only it is possible, I would work there everyday, accessing the free high-speed internet, if only I don’t live so far from the airport.
Smart also announced that they are going to install high-speed Smart Wifi in more public areas, such as city halls, schools, hospitals, and commercial establishments like as malls, restaurants, and coffee shops, as they recognize the increasing demand for more public Wifi hotspots in the country. They are also set to conquer the barangay level with a nationwide expansion plan backed by the PLDT Group’s robust and resilient fixed and wireless networks.