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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Building code revision pushed to help improve PH internet connection

An international think tank is urging the government to revise an old law to help improve the reach of internet connections across the country.

In a statement, the Stratbase ADR Institute said the National Building Code of the Philippines, which was passed in 1977, is in need of a review to help achieve digital transformation in the country.

The institute argued that the internet was still “an eight-year-old novelty” during NBC’s enactment and considered only power and water utilities as essential to commercial and residential properties.

The Commission on Human Rights has said that access to the internet is a basic human right in the digital era.

According to Stratbase, NBC’s amendment should encompass both the commercial and public sectors, as well as give internet service providers with ample area to construct fiber optic cables and equipment to enable Filipinos gain access to the internet faster.

“Broadband internet connectivity has emerged as one of the most basic needs in today’s world. It only follows that property development, both in the public and private sectors, should provide the internet service providers access to adequate space to install the necessary fiber optic cables and equipment that would deliver services to tenants and occupants,” said Stratbase ADR Institute head Prof. Victor Andres Manhit.

“This will free up resources that can be spent on the improvement and expansion of broadband services. This will also send a clear message that the government is determined to transform the country into a globally competitive digital economy,” he added.

Data from the Department of Information and Communications Technology showed that 65 percent of the country’s population is still not connected to the internet.

“In its current phase in the digital age, 77.81 percent of the Filipino population is expected to only have internet access by 2028,” says the data from the Statista Research Department.

The Philippines is currently 41st in the world in terms of average broadband internet speed, which is reportedly still a major concern as it is often unreliable and is only limited, the Telecom Review found.

Meanwhile, a bill at the House of Representatives seeking to amend the NBC, HB 500, has been approved, which seeks to cover amendments relating to ICT, among others.

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