Church connects communities, schools to world via internet

Inquirer Libre - Davao - - PANGUNAHING PAHINA - By Chris V. Panganiban

BAYUGAN CITY -- A thriving Christian denomination here has established its own wireless internet broadband services not to lure more church members but to connect far-flung communities and schools to the world wide web.

To propagate its state-of-the art global Airmax network, the A2wiser Broadband Corporation, which is operated by the United Pentecostal Church (UPC) in this city, has already tapped at least five public schools that now enjoy fast internet connections.

The Bayugan City Senior High School, located along the national highway some five kilometers from the city, was the recent recipient of the internet connection when some three new desktop computers were activated at their e-library during the inauguration rites two weeks ago.

Jessie Esmad, school principal, said the availability of internet connection in their new e-library would be helpful in the research studies of the students who can access it anytime considering that the school do not have enough textbooks to cater about 1,069 students.

“It is convenient since students would no longer commute to the city to do research work,” Esma said.

The three new computers provided by A2wiser to the e-library have included printers for students to print their research work with a minimal fee of P5 per page.

Pastor Jocim Galos, A2wiser chief operation officer, said they would also set up internet kiosks in the schools furnished with tablet mobile phones and PCs to augment the services of the library making internet connection more accessible inside the school campus.

Apart from these services, A2wider has been selling internet cards to students and teachers with an affordable rate at P5 per hour so that they could also access the internet on their own mobile phones and laptops.

As part of their corporate social responsibility, five percent of the profits gained from monthly internet bills and internet cards will go to the funds of Parent-Teacher Association and student government bodies.

Esmad said more PCs allocated for their school from the central office of the Department of Education will be coming and will be connected to the Internet to complete the computer sets needed at the e-library.

Even the computer laboratory of the school used only for instructional purposes and the workshops of different technical vocational subjects will be also connected to the internet to enhance the learning capabilities of the students.

Aside from the Bayugan Comprehensive National High School, A2wiser has also connected the Marcelina National High School, Salvacion National High School and Noli National High School to the world wide web.

Galos said their company is bent on covering all 68 schools in the city within the year, and hopes that it would be able to cover the entire Caraga region in the next five years.

Diomedes Hinacay, network administrator, said A2wiser has invested P3 million to set up its state-of-the-art equipment and its towers erected in the schools using the Airmax network technology or what techies would describe as the global standard for last mile connectivity which already connected hundreds of millions of people even in the remote areas of the world.

Hinacay said they are tapping the internet services of major telecommunication networks like Globe, Bayantel, PLDT, and Smart that subscribers are assured of uninterrupted internet connection since they could transfer to another network when one would be down.

Rene Rojas, a pioneer in the establishment of the company, said A2wiser was established as a crusade of UPC to build more churches in the hinterland communities, provide internet services to the lumad at affordable cost and send more scholars to Bible colleges.

Charlie Misagi, business consultant of the company, said money has not been a priority but serving people with no access to internet technology is the main focus. “Our main concern for this company is to serve the unserved.”

CHRIS V. PANGANIBAN

RETIRED Chief Supt. Geary Barias, former deputy police director general, and executives of A2wiser Broadband Internet Corp. watch as students of Fili Senior High School browsed the internet at the newly inaugurated electronic library.

CHRIS V. PANGANIBAN

RETIRED Chief Supt. Geary Barias, former deputy police director general, and executives of A2wiser Broadband Internet Corp. watch as students of Fili Senior High School browsed the internet at the newly inaugurated electronic library.

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