Converge ICT Solutions Inc. supports a “joint use” mechanism for the installation of underground pipes for telecommunication cables, a top executive said Tuesday.
Converge ICT chief operations officer Jesus Romero said the cost of installation of the conduits could be shared by telecom companies or Internet service providers.
He said this option would mean cost savings for the ICT providers and ensure there won’t be multiple trench-diggings.
“This can be done in expressways linking parts of the metro together. Submarine cables are expensive. We could do with a lot more diversity and connectivity. This joint use of infrastructure will go a long way,” Romero said.
“As an ISP, we’re willing to pay for our share [of the cost],” he said.
A “dig once” policy in place will translate into lower capital costs for the internet service provider, which in turn will widen access to the broadband infrastructure, especially to rural communities.
Converge ICT said that in pursuing this policy, cooperation among the national government agencies such as the Department of Public Works and Highways, local government units and private sector operators is critical as the digital infrastructure deployment has to be aligned with public works plans.
“Our backbone nationwide, most of it is underground, but there are still places where we have aerial cables because of the old design of the houses. We should encourage regulators and lawmakers to come up with directions to push for underground cabling because we are a typhoon-ravaged country,” Converge ICT chief executive and co-founder Dennis Anthony Uy said.
“Another policy move that can be considered where underground cables are not feasible is infrastructure sharing. This entails the shared use of open, neutral, and affordable facilities among telecom companies, which includes utility poles. A common pole policy can further reduce the cost of network deployment,” he said.