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Internet Access for Remote Areas in the Philippines

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The Department of Information and Communications Technology’s (DICT) Broadband ng Masa programme in the Philippines connects three distant island villages of Zamboanga City to the Internet.

Recently, the DICT Region IX BASULTA went to Sacol, a remote island with four barangays, to see if it would be possible to connect the island’s people to the rest of the world. During the installation process, the Department also found that Tigtabon and Pangapuyan, two nearby islands, also lack ICT infrastructure.

Ivan John E. Uy, the secretary of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), said that the Broadband ng Masa (Broadband for the Masses) initiative is DICT’s main way to provide fast, reliable, and free internet access to areas of the country that are hard to reach. In addition to the broadband connection, DICT gave four Elementary Schools tablets.

The island is about 5 kilometres from the mainland of Zamboanga City, but it hasn’t had a good broadband infrastructure for a long time. Even simple things like making phone calls and sending text messages have been hard for the locals.

The DICT and a leader in IT and networking signed an agreement to work together to power the DICT’s e-Government Masterplan as part of a collaboration pillar. The goal is to create a government ICT infrastructure that is harmonised, interoperable, and integrated.

Secretary Ivan said they are sure that this partnership will work. The initiative will make it easier for the government to work together, and it will give the government a big push toward digital transformation.

As they sign this Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), the agency has put a lot of emphasis on how important it is for the public and private sectors to work together. This is a key part of putting the nation’s digital agenda into action in a way that works for everyone. Under the agreement, the IT company will give DICT integrated security solutions and collaboration tools like Webex boards, room kits, and licenses to make DICT’s security better.

This initiative is meant to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of public service, make it easier for agencies to work together through digitisation, and make it easier for public servants to focus on their jobs by making traffic and complicated platforms less stressful.

The IT company will use its ecosystem and experience working with government agencies around the world to help build a future-ready ecosystem in the Philippines. It will do this by deploying innovative technology and solutions, starting with its secure collaboration portfolio to power hybrid work.

The partnership will make sure that hybrid and remote work in the Philippines is safe and easy. This is because a study found that most Filipino employees preferred hybrid work, and at the same time, more was learned about this arrangement. Studies have also shown that hybrid and remote work helped Filipino employees save more money, get along better with their coworkers, and be more productive.

One of the DICT’s most important goals is to reach and connect the most remote and far-flung communities in the country. As the country moves to a new normal, the Department has increased its connectivity efforts, especially in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas (GIDAs), to help all Filipinos move to the new normal.

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