DICT's broadband plan to be presented to President Duterte in January

DICT will set up an infrastructure from north to south of the Philippines to provide Internet access to the untapped markets in the countryside.

By Adrian M. Reodique
Dec. 15, 2016

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) hopes to get the approval of President Rodrigo Duterte by January next year for the proposed National Broadband Plan (NBP).

"Hopefully, we can submit it to the President by the first part of January, [because I'm now fast tracking the details]," said DICT Secretary Rodolfo Salalima, in a report by the GMA News Online on 8 December 2016.

In his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) on 25 July 2016, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered DICT to develop a NBP to boost the deployment of fibre optic cables and wireless technologies in the country to improve internet speed.

As agreed by previous consultations with other cabinet officials, Salalima said the plan will consist of setting up an infrastructure, from north to south, to reach the untapped markets in the country.

"[Even though we are saying that we'll] put up the infrastructure from north to south, the priority of the infrastructure is to serve the government and people in the countryside [that are not reached by telco service providers]," he explained.

Salalima added they will use 5,000 to 10,000 kilometres of fibre optic cables of the Philippines' National Grid Corporation to make it easier for the government to implement the plan.

"Now, because we have agreed on what option to use, we will put up the details of the specific costs so that once we are done finalising the plan, we will refer it back to the President - for the President to declare it as approved," he noted.

DICT said the NBP will likely cost PHP 77 billion to PHP 200 billion to execute, and take two to three years to be fully implemented.