Gov?t approves P890-M broadband project of private ICT company

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The broadband initiative comes years after the scandal-ridden National Broadband Network (NBN) engulfed the country during the term of Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. But unlike before when the project was led by the government, this time the venture is purely a private initiative. Converge?s project will use GPON (Gigabit Passive Optic Network), a technology for installing, operating, and maintaining nationwide wired and wireless broadband network. The project will establish a wired (fiber optic) and wireless data communication network throughout the country to increase connectivity speed of up to 100M bit/sec which can bring high speed broadband internet service to local businesses and households. The country?s telecommunications network is currently capable of handling data volume transmitted at 250 gigabits per second. The BOI said the rapid Internet growth and enormous bandwidth consumption it entails pose a challenge to telecommunications infrastructure. ?The Converge project will help address telecommunication gap by ensuring faster Internet speed and ability to meet the growing volume of data traffic,? it said in a statement. According to BOI, this nationwide project will be implemented nationwide in three phases. Phase 1 of the project will cover NCR, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Bataan, Olongapo, Clark, Tarlac, and Pampanga. Phases 2 and 3 rollout will be implemented within the next 3 to 5 years, covering other areas in the rest of the country. Culmination of Phase 1 is expected by December 2012. The BOI said the project will employ about 278 workers. The areas covered by the project will serve as switching nodes with a capacity of 10 Gbps. Converge projects a subscriber base of around 40,000 for a five-year period. Infrastructure development, including telecommunication facilities, is among the investment activities identified in the 2012 Investment Priorities Plan or IPP. The IPP, the country’s blueprint for investment promotions, outlines investments areas that can help create jobs and add value to the economy. According to research firm IDC and the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), Philippine Internet subscribers are likely to reach over 30 million by the end of 2012 based on projected annual growth rate of 23 percent. The Philippine IT-BPO Roadmap 2011-2016 projects the industry to grow to $25 billion by 2016. The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is working with the DTI on the roadmaps in a bid to further boost the industry?s competitive advantages. Among these advantages is the country?s deregulated telecommunications industry which has supported the growth of the BPO industry. For the past five years, cost of bandwidth in the Philippines went down by at least 85 percent: $2000 per month for E1 lines to the United States and $3500 to the United Kingdom. ]]>

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