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Subsea Cable Network to Improve Connectivity in the Philippines

The undersea cable system project will soon improve internet connectivity in The Philippines. President Marcos Jr. communicated the good news following his meeting with the CEOs of The Philippines and Singapore’s telecommunication providers at Malacaang Palace in Manila. The collaboration will give the country increased bandwidth and a speedier internet connection.

“The submarine fibre optic cable from the United States west coast. It will connect to the Philippines, as well as Singapore and Indonesia. This will provide us with additional bandwidth. ” This will provide us with a better communication system for all of the global web services,” he stated.

In 2021, telco providers in the Philippines signed a binding deal with a business in Singapore to participate in the Bifrost Cable System project. The project was the world’s first underwater cable system that sought to connect Singapore to the west coast of North America.

President Marcos Jr was delighted to learn that the Philippines would be included in the Bifrost Cable System Project, which aims to improve internet access in the country. The 15,000-kilometer underwater cable system project intends to directly connect Singapore to the west coast of North America, travelling through Indonesia, the Philippines, and Guam and is projected to be completed in 2024.

The goal is to improve the digital experience of the region’s governments and enterprises, including cloud and telecommunications operators, network providers, over-the-top providers, data centres, and consumers. The high-performance, multiple-fibre-paired Bifrost Line System will also be the most extensive high-speed transmission cable across the Pacific Ocean.

According to the Ookla Speedtest Global Index statistics, the Philippines is rated 82nd out of 142 countries in terms of wireless internet speed and 41st out of 180 countries in terms of fixed broadband speed as of January 2023.

Through the Department of Information and Communications Technology’s (DICT) free BroadBand ng Masa programme, the Marcos Jr. administration has created 4,757 operable live installations in 75 provinces and Metro Manila.

The initiative includes geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas (GIDAs) such as Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi (BaSuLTa), and Pag-asa Island in the province of Palawan.

Nationally, the Broadband ng Masa programme has around 4 million unique subscribers. The government intends to open over 15,000 free Wi-Fi hotspots by 2023. The agreement between Converge and Keppel T&T grants the former an indefeasible right of use for one fibre pair on the main trunk of the Bifrost Cable System.

Apart from providing a dependable and fast internet connection, the Philippines assisted MSME’s growth by ratifying the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) pact. According to Senior Deputy Majority Leader and Ilocos Norte First District Representative Ferdinand Alexander “Sandro,” electronic and borderless trade would strengthen local businesses, notably micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

President Marcos Jr., quoting Trade and Industry Secretary Alfredo Pascual, stated that tariff reduction under the RCEP will make preferential market access easier for Philippine exporters, allowing the country to capitalise on potential market gains.

The House of Representatives passed House Resolution 728, expressing full support for the RCEP agreement’s immediate ratification. According to the resolution, ratifying the RCEP Agreement will allow the Philippines to reap the benefits of the vast trade pact sooner, which may attract more foreign investors, create more job opportunities, and reduce the country’s unemployment and poverty rates.

The RCEP integrates and optimises economic and trade rules, including the changing digital landscape that affects intellectual property rights, trade facilitation measures, electronic commerce, and cross-border trade, and was designed as the framework for economic and trade cooperation in the Asia Pacific Region.

The writers said the RCEP agreement would stimulate foreign investments in the Philippines and allow more participation in digital services, business process outsourcing industries, financial services, aerospace, shipbuilding, research and development, and many others.


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