DICT inks deal with NGCP, TransCo on use of fiber optic network

After an initial squabble, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has partnered with the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) and the National Transmission Corporation (TransCo) for the utilization of spare optical fiber to boost the implementation of the National Broadband Plan (NBP).

DICT acting secretary Eliseo M. Rio Jr., NGCP chairman and CEO Anthony L. Almeda, and TransCo president and CEO Melvin A. Matibag led the signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) on Friday, June 8, at Philippine International Convention Center (PICC).

The partnership deal came after Rio criticized earlier this year the NGCP after it came up with a “open letter” to Pres. Rodrigo Duterte wherein it blamed the DICT for the delay in the rollout of the broadband project of the national government.

“We express our commitment to serve this nation with partnership with the DICT ad TransCo,” said Almeda. “We welcome this opportunity to take part of the National Broadband Plan of the government to address the long withstanding issue of the Internet connection quality of the Philippines.”

“This is seven years in the making. Coming to this agreement, we had a lot of arguments and disagreements, but despite all of these things, we are all here together to sign the agreement,” said Matibag.

“This is the fruit of years of shared determination to make a resounding impact for the Philippines, and for the Filipinos,” said Rio.

In the agreement, the DICT received the right to use and/or access in certain spare Fiber Optic Cores (FOCs), vacant lots, tower space and related facilities of the NGCP, the current concessionaire of the National Transmission Corporation (TransCo)-owned grid. The total length of the dark fiber network is 6,154 kilometers, spanning from Luzon to Mindanao.

With this development, the DICT said the NBP is coming to fruition as the NGCP’s transmission facilities can now act as the network backbone interconnected with the to-be constructed Luzon Bypass Infrastructure (LBI).

The two major broadband projects, once completed, will save up time, manpower, and resources for the government, approximately $2.6 billion, while helping address the need for faster and more affordable Internet connectivity in the country.

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