Sunday, April 14, 2024

Ex-ICT chief spearheading launch of free Internet access via cable firms

Louis Casambre, the former executive director of the ICT Office during the previous administration, is leading the launch of his company?s free Internet access in selected areas around the country.

Former ICT Office chief Louis Casambre. Credit: ITU
Former ICT Office chief Louis Casambre. Credit: ITU

Casambre?s employer, local ISP (Internet service provider) NexLogic Telecommunication Network Inc., will be providing free Internet access through a cable modem that can be purchased by anyone for P2,999.

The cable modem can be acquired via a one-time purchase and does not have a monthly service fee, similar to getting a set-up box to get digital TV signals, Casambre said in a Facebook post.

Beginning this month, cable TV subscribers of Laguna Bay Vision and Telemarc Cable Laguna will have access to NexLogic?s free Internet service called ?Juan?s Internet Philippines (JIP)?.

It provides free access to all general information, education, and Philippine government websites (like .org, .edu, .gov.ph), as well as selected content and services such as Skype, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger.

In addition to the freely accessible sites, subscribers have 3 gigabytes monthly allocation that they may use to browse commercial sites and on-line services, including popular ones such as Facebook and YouTube.

Should users need more than the free allocation, they can avail of various prepaid packages, which will have no data usage caps and are time-based. The packages will be available in 6-hour, 24-hour, 7-day and 30-day increments.

The free Internet offering will allow also cable Internet providers to provide Internet service on top of their cable television service, according to Casambre.

?Cable TV providers are best-positioned to deliver broadband Internet because video channels are high-bandwidth applications. Internet via cable is the best way to deliver fixed-line broadband after fiber-optic cable,? he said.

?Internet connectivity in the Philippines is one of the most expensive in Asia and the digital divide is growing because of it. Those with Internet access can reap its benefits while those who do not get left behind. Our aim with JIP is to bring down the cost of Internet access and remove the financial barriers to broadband Internet access,? he added.

A World Bank study has shown that for every 10-percent increase in broadband penetration results in a 1.38% increase in economic growth for low- to medium-income economies.

NexLogic?s cable modems also have built-in Wi-Fi, which means that all a user needs to connect to the Interne is a device with Wi-Fi access like a smartphone, a tablet, or a laptop.

To ensure that cable companies are competitive with established ISPs and telcos, NexLogic will guarantee that the network is never oversubscribed and can deliver constant Internet speeds all the time. Over-subscription usually results in significant network slowdowns especially during peak hours.

?There have been many complaints about the speed and cost of Internet service and oversubscription is one of the reasons why the quality of retail Internet service in the Philippines is poor. By maintaining service quality, our partners will remain competitive with incumbent providers,? Casambre said.

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