DICT cites solons for backing prioritization of broadband plan

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) said it welcomes the support of House of Representatives for the additional budget for the roll-out of the National Broadband Project (NBP) in 2019.

DICT acting secretary Eliseo M. Rio Jr.

House ICT committee chair Victor Yap, deputy speaker Arthur Yap, and appropriations committee member Joey Salceda have signified their support in endorsing the P2-billion proposed budget of the DICT to implement the NBP next year.

The DICT said it is looking to spend the said budget on reinforcing and accelerating the operational stage of the NBP, the government’s blueprint in improving the quality and bringing down the cost of Internet in the country.

Covered in the proposed budget is the operation of the Luzon Bypass Infrastructure (LBI), which links to the fiber optic cables of the National Transmission Corporation (TransCo).

“We must pick up from our achievements we’ve had this year, so we are grateful for the support of our representatives. We hope other members of the Congress can support the initiative, which is now on its crucial stage,” said DICT acting secretary Eliseo M. Rio Jr.

The DICT considers the NBP as the missing link to boost connectivity across the archipelago within a shorter time as it aims to tap existing ICT infrastructures, which saves government significant time and money while ensuring huge economic return, projected within a two-year period.

Rio said the bigger budget would fast-track the implementation of the NBP, given that the agency already secured two separate tripartite agreements this year to commence the operation.

“We are convinced that the NBP can finally get rid of our country’s long-standing issue of poor and costly Internet connection. The DICT is ready, capable, and determined to spearhead this initiative, as proven by our recent actions. We should get our acts together as public servants and not waste any more time,” Rio added.

Last June, the Department reached an agreement with TransCo and National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) for the utilization of its 6,154-wide dark fiber network, spanning from Luzon to Mindanao.

Three months later, it also closed a deal with National Electrification Authority (NEA) and Philippine Rural Cooperatives Association, Inc. (PHILRECA) in tapping electric cooperatives as partners for middle mile connectivity.

Another agreement with cable operators is also in line to serve as a viable last mile connectivity in the different parts of the country.

The lighting-up of the TransCo-owned grid and interconnection to the electric cooperatives will also be covered in the foreseen budget. These will serve as distribution networks for the 2-million Mbps of data capacity coming from the LBI to the far-flung areas.

To complement the national broadband and fully maximize its benefits, the establishment and expansion of the National Government Data Center (NGDC) is a vital infrastructure to improve numerous data center services to different government agencies. Aside from the data center-related operations, the NGDC houses the government’s cloud computing, Web hosting, and server co-location, among others.

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