Govt revives P77-b broadband project

The Department of Information and Communications Technology said Thursday it will present the multi-billion-peso national broadband network plan to President Rodrigo Duterte by January next year. 

DICT Secretary Rodolfo Salalima told reporters the government would build a national broadband infrastructure from north to south of the Philippines to serve the government and the people in the countryside. 

Salalima said the national broadband network would require an investment of P77 billion and could reach as high as P200 billion if the government had no existing infrastructure. 

Department of Information and Communications Technology Secretary Rodolfo Salalima
He said the national broadband network plan would be submitted to President Duterte for approval in January.

Salalima said the government was in talks with potential technical and service providers to help the government build the national broadband network. 

The project is expected to be completed in one year to three years. 

A national broadband network project was scrapped in 2007 during the Arroyo administration, amid allegations of corruption in the awarding of a $329-million construction contract to Chinese telecommunications company ZTE Corp.

Industry players, however, cited the need to build a national broadband network to support the growth of the ICT sector.

Salalima earlier said the government was looking at utilizing the fiber optic cable network of the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines to provide broadband services in the countryside. 

“I was informed that there are about 5,000 to 10,000 fiber optic cable running from north to south.  We may start negotiating with the private corporation on how the government to make use of those fiber optic,” he said. 

NGCP, which holds the 25-year concession contract to operate the country’s power transmission network, is comprised of Monte Oro Grid Resources Corp., Calaca High Power Corp. and the State Grid Corp. of China as technical partner.

President Duterte earlier ordered DICT to craft a national broadband plan in a bid to provide Internet services in unserved and underserved areas. 

The national broadband network plan under Arroyo administration was abandoned because of allegations of overpricing and graft in the procurement.

Topics: Department of Information and Communications Technology , broadband project , DICT Secretary , Rodolfo Salalima
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