SIBALOM, Antique — The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) said it is confident that Starlink’s satellite broadband service would be available soon for residential subscribers.
DICT secretary John Ivan Uy said in an interview here that SpaceX, through its local reseller Data Lake, is still sorting out the schedule for the roll-out of Starlink services for residential subscribers.
“We are still synchronizing our schedules, but it will just be a matter of weeks not months. This is huge for the Philippines as we are the first in Asia to avail the services of Starlink,” he told reporters.
At the recent 3rd Asean Digital Ministers Meeting in Boracay, Data Lake’s representative said they have started to offer the enterprise package for business subscribers who are willing to shell out P206,000 for the starter kit composed of a satellite dish and router with a starting P28,000 monthly fee.
Uy led the launch of free Wi-Fi sites in Antique as part of the DICT’s flagship program — Broadband ng Masa.
The launching ceremony was held on Friday, March 3, at the University of Antique and included the ceremonial signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to launch e-governance in the province.
With Uy during the event was Sen. Loren Legarda, Antique representative Antonio “AA” Legarda Jr., governor Rhodora Cadiao, along with other public officials, representatives, students, and faculty from Antique.
Legarda joined the launching ceremony to promote accessible Internet in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas (GIDAs), while addressing connectivity challenges in her home province of Antique.
“We can no longer stall digital transformation — it is inevitable. The launch of these free Wi-Fi sites is only the beginning. We are doing this not only to our kasimanwas in Antique, but also to our kababayans in the different parts of the country with our strengthened partnership with the DICT,” Legarda said.
The free Wi-Fi sites were activated in six locations — in Barangay Calo-oy and the five campuses of the University of Antique: Sibalom Campus, Tario Lim Memorial Campus, Libertad Campus, Caluya Campus, and Hamtic Campus.
In addition, the DICT announced that a total of 150 sites will be activated across the province.
“We are targeting barangays this year. But we hope by 2024, we could be able to deploy in all of the country’s 590 barangays,” Legard said, adding that Antique is also hoping to benefit from the services offered by Starlink.
The DICT said indigenous communities in the province will be prioritized in the broadband program.
The agency said fiber-optic cables will be installed from the capital San Jose de Buenavista to each of Antique’s towns, using the province’s electric poles.
For her part, Cadiao urged the DICT to include public hospitals in the digitalization program in the province.