VSU commences the installation of free WI-FI connection in dormitories of the upper and lower campus to secure students’ safety and in compliance with the Free Wi-Fi law, starting first week of March.

The installation supposedly started months ago following the original plan to put up free WI-FI in dormitories where the students are expected to stay when face-to-face class resumes, after a 2-year halt due to the pandemic. But the said plan was halted and installation was delayed due to procurement processes and budget constraints.

“The original plan is to put up the free wifi para sa face-to-face during pandemic. Diha pa puy-on ang students sa dormitory, then the problem was walay connectivity sa mga dorms, so that’s why ang university nag-invest to put up free wifi sa dormitories. Also, it’s about time naman sad na butangan sila ug WI-FI kay in other schools ang ilang dorms kay naa juy wifi provision from their schools maong nag butang ta. But medjo na-ulahi kay mag procurement pa man, medjo na delay, and we are running out of budget that time, so nag depend pa sa kwarta kong pila ang masigo. But luckily, nag sugo man jud si President Tulin na butangan jud ug connectivity,” said Sir Norman Villas, Project Leader, narrating the development of the WI-FI project.

[The original plan is to put up free wifi for face-to-face during the pandemic. Where the students will live in the dormitory, then the problem is the lack of connectivity in the dorms, so that’s why the university invested to put up free wifi in the dormitories. Also, it’s about time to put Wi-Fi connection cause in other schools, their dorms have Wi-Fi provision from their schools, that’s why we put them also. But a bit late because we still have procurement, a bit delayed, and we are running out of budget at that time, so we depended on the money of how much it will cater. But luckily, President Tulin ordered to really put connectivity.] 

Sir Villas also pointed out that the main purpose of the project is for the safety of dorm occupants. Since reports from security personnel prior pandemic were received in their office, regarding occupants going out of their dormitories to acquire internet connection, specifically flocking the DCST building (Department of Computer Science and Technology) and other available offices for internet connectivity.

“Para sa safety pud, de na sila mogawas. Kay sa una mo ari pa jud sila (DCST), so mag tambay na sila kay naa ra man ari ang free wifi. Niya usahay mo ari ang guard mabalaka sila sa safety sa mga students kay mogawas pa sila sa dorms para mangitag signal. Unya karon naay uban office nga mag reklamo kay magbilin ug kalat, maggamit ug wifi niya mangaon tas ibilin ang kalat. So wala man mi lain pasanginlan kay taga dorm ra man jud nga naa sa sud sa campus, so butangan na lang jud sila ug wi-fi for their safety sad.”

[For safety also, so that they will not go out. Because before, they go here (DCST), they will linger around because of the free wifi. Then sometimes the guard will come here concerned for the student's safety since they have to go outside their dorms to find a signal. Then now, there are offices that complain because of the garbages left, students use the wifi then eat in there and then leave their garbage. We don’t have anyone to blame but the occupants who reside inside the campus, so we put Wi-Fi, and then for their safety also.]

He also added that this installation is in adherence to the free Wifi Law which is the REPUBLIC ACT No. 10929 or the Free Internet Access in Public Places Act that was enacted into law in 2017. Which “State universities and colleges, and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) technology institutions” are included in section 4. Coverage of the Program of the said law.

“It’s free because nag invest gyud ang university na matagaan ug free access. One is the free Wi-Fi Law. Kita as a government agency we are obliged by the law to give free access to students.

[It’s free because the university invested to give free access. One is the free Wi-Fi Law. As a government agency, we are obliged by the law to give free access to students.]

Sir Villas also emphasized that they are making sure that the range of the Wi-Fi reaches each room in the dormitory so that students don’t have to go out. He added, that they allotted 1 Gbps speed for dormitories and did not put any limit on the connection.

“With regards to the range, amo jud gisuguro nga ang kada dormitory, mo sud jud sa ila room ang signal para de na jud sila magawas-gawas. And wala siyay limit, wala pa man tay gi-set na policy kung pilay limit. So kung pilay naa diri karon, naa man tay 4 gigs of connectivity from the university, so nag allot mig 1 gig or 1 gbps for the dormitory. So kanang 1 gig mao na amo gi butang na speed sa tanang dormitory.”

[With regards to the range, we made sure that in each dormitory, the signal will reach in their rooms so that they will not go out. And there’s no limit, we did not set a policy yet for the limit. So if we have 4 gigs of connectivity from the university, we allotted 1 gig or 1 Gbps for the dormitory. So the 1 gig is the speed we put in the dormitory.]

 As of this writing, Ilang-Ilang dormitory joined Sampaguita and Mahogany dormitories as the first three student accommodation dormitories to fully utilize the free Wi-Fi connection. The installation takes up to 3-4 days maximum.

In an interview with AMARANTH, some occupants of the said dormitories shared their feedback regarding the free WI-FI connection. 

“Kusog ra man, maka connect ra ang tanan kay sa tagsa-tagsa na level gi ta-uran man. Pero dili kasud sa rooms, kaylangan pa nimo ablihan para mo kusog jud siya,” said Jeffry Dondon, 1st-year Mahogany occupant who shared his experience with the Wi-Fi connection.

[It’s fast, everyone can connect since they put the internet on each level. But it cannot enter each room, we need to go outside the rooms to secure a fast connection.]

While other students also point out the inconsistent speed and range of the WI-FI but shared how it helps to lessen their expenses per week. 

“Nindot siya kay accessible sa tanan niya unlimited, hinay lang niya de makadali-dali ug access labi na sa chrome during morning time. But before I spend 75 pesos per week sa connectivity and now with the same wavelength of connection speed, maka less nako when it comes to expenses,” said John Mark Ceda, 2nd-year Mahogany occupant.

[It’s nice because it's accessible for everyone and unlimited, but it’s a bit slower and cannot be accessed easily especially chrome during morning time. But before,I spend 75 pesos per week for connectivity, and now with the same wavelength of connection speed, I can save when it comes to expenses.]

The ladies dormitory also shared the same feedback with others regarding the connectivity issue but emphasized the huge help it brings to their student life. 

“So, having this VSU Free WiFi sa dorm kay dako kaayog tabang saakoa both sa pag tipid and sa studies; kay kusog rajud sya once maka connect ka. Pero there were times lang nga mag "No IP Allocation" sya, katagsa ragud, which causes a bit of hassle especially kung needed najud ang internet. Nevertheless, dako jud kaayo siyag tabang. Wanakoy load-load,” said Ana Labador, Sampaguita Dormitory President.  

[So, having this VSU Free WiFi in dormitories is a huge help for me both in savings and for studies; because it’s fast once you are connected. But there were times that it’s "No IP Allocation", but it’s seldom, which causes a bit of hassle, especially if the internet is needed. Nevertheless, it’s a really big help. I don’t load anymore.]

 Other lady occupants also shared the same sentiment about the help and convenience the free wifi brings. 

“Kusog ra. Maka tabang siya sa schoolworks and de nako mag load. Napadali talaga nito ang buhay ko bilang estudyante,” said Irish Avicilla, Sampaguita dormitory occupant who emphasized the positive effect of the free Wi-fi.

[It’s fast. It helps my schoolwork and I don’t load anymore. It made my life easier as a student.]

When the occupants of the lower dormitories notice the WI-FI installation, they start to raise questions regarding the coverage and schedule of installation. During the interview with AMARANTH, they also shared their concerns regarding the need to have free WI-FI inside the dormitories, especially in the lower campus where the signal is weak, which opt them to go to the canteen or outside of offices and departments even at night time to find an internet connection.

“Lisod para namo, especially students since naa pa sad mi online class and wala mi internet sa dorm, so we need to go the canteen para mag internet adto. Inig ka gabie, mo adto pa mig canteen or sa outside sa Center for Continuing student para mag pa signal mi, and panagsa makasuk-an pami. Kauban namo ang mga taga Sunflower and Zea Mays,” said Claire Lubong, an Everlasting occupant in the lower campus sharing her struggles with her fellow occupants.

[It’s difficult for us, especially students since we still have an online class and there is no internet inside the dormitory, so we need to go to the canteen to acquire internet. During the evening, we go to the canteen or outside of the Center for Continuing Students to get signal, and sometimes we get scolded. We go there with occupants from Sunflower and Zea Mays.]

While the ICTMC team (Information Communication Technology Management Center) led by sir Villas is targeting to finish the installation before the VSU 99th Anniversary. 

“Ang target gyud namo kay wala pay VSU Anniversary, mabutangan na namo tanan gyud, but naa man guy time nga naay kakulian like naay emergency sa mga office, kaylangan e pull out namo amo tao, but the target is before unta mag anniversary mabutangan na namo tanan,” said sir Villas reassuring the occupants that all dormitories will be installed with free Wi-Fi within this semester.

[Our target is before VSU Anniversary, we can finish all dorms, but there are times that there are emergencies in offices, and we need to pull out our staff, but the target is before the anniversary we can install every dorm.]

Sir Villas also reminded the occupants to use the free Wi-Fi connection mainly for academic purposes.

“Use your free access wisely. Use it for projects, assignments, and kung mo take ug exams sa e-learning portal. Other than that, free mani siya so dapat atu paniguroon ba atu gamiton for school works, okay ra nang entertainment or pampawa sa laay but use it wisely jud para sa pagskwela.”

[Use your free access wisely. Use it for projects, assignments, and for taking exams in the e-learning portal. Other than that, it’s free so we have to make sure we use it for schoolwork, it’s okay for entertainment or to get rid of boredom but use it wisely for education.]

The free Wi-Fi can be accessed through the given accounts along with instructions emailed as “Free Wifi Password” by the ComulusOne StudentPortal. Each Viscan is given a free Wi-Fi account, therefore it follows one-is-to-one usage. Which sir Villas strongly emphasized not to share the personal account with other people because it will jeopardize the owner’s account and the connectivity. 

“Ayaw e hatag ang free wifi account to non-vsu students because it will jeopardize your access. Kay makita mana namo nga daghay user si kuan-kani nga student. Once na magamit na siya sa lain, ang original na owner, maputol, so de pwede mag dungan. One is to one ra jud na siya. Kung imo e-hatag, maputol imo connection unya kadto imo gihatagan ang maka connect na.”

[Do not give the free wifi account to non-vsu students because it will jeopardize your access. Because we can see the number of users of the student. Once it’s used by another, the original owner will lose connection, so it cannot be used simultaneously. One-is-to-one use. If you will share it, your connection will be lost, and the other user can use it.]

All dormitories from the upper and lower campus are expected to have a free wifi connection before the VSU anniversary this April.

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