Monday, May 27, 2024

PH gov’t lights up Phase 1 of National Fiber Backbone Project

Pres. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) secretary Ivan Uy led the official launch of the National Fiber Backbone (NFB) Phase 1 at Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila on Friday, April 19.

US Charges-d’-Affairs Robert Ewing, Pasay City mayor Emi Calixto-Rubiano, and Meta Public Policy for Southeast Asia director Rafael Frankel also graced the event.

The NFB Phase 1 is a 1,245-kilometer cable network from Laoag, Ilocos Norte to Roces, Quezon City, illuminating 28 nodes and delivering an initial 600 Gbps optical spectrum capacity.

The first phase will connect 14 provinces across Northern and Central Luzon, Metro Manila, four Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) eco-zones, and two National Government Data Centers.

“This backbone links us together — it serves as the economic spine that props up our growth, and supports our development. More importantly, we understand that in order for Filipinos to reach their full potential, we must invest in a fast and reliable Internet. It gives me pleasure to lead the grand launch of Phase 1 of the first and only government-owned National Fiber Backbone,” Marcos Jr. said.

In his welcome remarks, Uy highlighted the game-changing opportunities that will be unlocked through the project’s launch.

“Phase 1 of the National Fiber Backbone signifies more than just laying cables and establishing connections; it represents a monumental leap forward in our journey towards a digitally empowered society. With the activation of these nodes, we are bringing high-speed Internet across to underserved communities, unlocking opportunities for education, healthcare, and economic development,” Uy said.

The DICT said it will take advantage of the high-speed connectivity provided by the NFB to power important last-mile initiatives like the National Government Portal (NGP) and Broadband ng Masa Program.

Moreover, the infostructures required for the successful execution of DICT projects will be provided by the National Broadband Program, it added.

Upon completing the remaining phases of the NFB by 2026, the DICT said it expects to increase the penetration rate from 33% to 65% and reach 70 million Filipinos out of the current 115-million population nationwide. This initiative, it added, will also lower the price of Internet connectivity to as much as $5 per Mb.

“The next phases of the National Fiber Backbone project will focus on broadening our network coverage, extending connectivity across regions, and providing broadband Internet access to government institutions and public spaces. By extending the reach of our digital infrastructure, we are leveling the playing field and empowering every Filipino to participate in the digital economy,” Uy said.

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