Duterte approves National Broadband Program

March 8, 2017 at 09:38

Duterte approves National Broadband Program

by Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos | Published 

President Duterte approved the establishment of a National Government Portal and a National Broad Plan during the 13th Cabinet meeting in Malacañang yesterday.

According to Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol, Duterte approved the plan after the presentation of Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Secretary Rodolfo Salalima.

“President Duterte emphasized the need for faster communications in the country,” Piñol said.

Duterte had earlier said he would like DICT to “develop a national broadband plan to accelerate the deployment of fiber optics cables and wireless technologies to improve Internet speed.”

The National Broadband Program (NBP), aims to provide a clear direction for the Philippine government to ensure that all Filipinos will reap the benefits of broadband, address challenges, and accelerate broadband deployment.

It also aims to interconnect government offices across the country, increase internet penetration, especially in far-flung areas, and stimulate economic growth through the digital empowerment of the people.

Last November, the DICT held a two-day consultation with representatives from the government and private sector to deliberate on the NBP.

According to the DICT, the creation of a national broadband network that is “open, pervasive, inclusive, affordable, and trusted” was discussed during the consultation.

Earlier, Salalima said the plan which they will propose to the President involves putting up infrastructure to serve the government and people in “unserved or underserved” areas.

In the plan, existing telecommunication service providers could use the infrastructure built by the government to deliver services in far-flung areas for a fee.

Salima said that once the proposed NBP, which requires an investment of up to P200 million, is approved by Duterte, the plan could be implemented with one to three years.

The large players in the Telco industry – Globe and PLDT – had earlier said they welcome and support the plan of the DICT to come up with the NBP.

Telcos had earlier said it is difficult for them to provide service in far-flung areas with small communities since they would need to deliver a return on money being spent.

However, they said they would be willing to deliver service in those areas by renting government facilities.

Source: https://news.mb.com.ph/2017/03/07/duterte-approves-national-broadband-program/

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