The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) said it is accelerating the build-out of a supplemental infrastructure, called the “resiliency route”, for Phase 1 of the National Broadband Program (NBP).
“The establishment of a resiliency route serves as insurance or safety net against any unforeseen issues or in the event that may cause delay for the completion of the project,” said DICT secretary Gregorio “Gringo” B. Honasan II.
“This endeavor is part of our efforts to future-proof the National Broadband Program to ensure continuity of the national ICT agenda. It is our goal to ensure that the strides we have made in the current administration will serve as leverage for the initiatives of our future leaders to further advance the national ICT agenda.”
The resiliency route, connected to Singapore, serves as an alternate route in the Asia Region. It also serves as a backup or redundancy connection to ensure continuous connectivity for the NBP in the case of any disruptions in the Pacific Light Cable Network (PLCN), which is currently connected to the NBP’s cable landing station in Baler, Aurora and to Los Angeles, California.
Under the NBP, the cable landing stations connected to the program’s cable landing stations, or the Luzon Bypass Infrastructure (LBI), provide the international connection for the national fiber backbone.
The resiliency route is expected to support and initially benefit the country’s metropolitan centers for commercial, financial, and administrative activities. These include Metro Manila, Metro Cebu, and Metro Davao.
The NBP aims to establish a government-owned broadband network to provide Filipinos faster, wider-reaching, and more affordable Internet services. The DICT partnered with the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) to procure the National Fiber Backbone Phase 1 Project in early 2021.
The NBP Phase 1, which will be completed by the end of the year, involves activating 28 nodes of the national fiber backbone located in 12 provinces in Luzon. Meanwhile, the final phase is expected to be completed in 2025. This is despite limited funding to fast track the completion of the program.
For 2021, the NBP received around P1.9 billion in funding — far lower than DICT’s target budget of P18 billion to complete the NBP within 2 to 3 years.