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The Philippines Gets Satellite Internet Connectivity


The Philippines has consistently been keen to increase internet availability and speed through various initiatives to improve connectivity. As of January 2023, the Philippines is positioned 82nd out of 142 nations in terms of wireless internet speed. Additionally, it is ranked 41st out of 180 countries in terms of fixed broadband speed, according to a reputed company’s Global Index figures for speed.

In line with these ambitions, an international satellite internet constellation company has announced its internet service in the Philippines. The company that delivers satellite internet access coverage to 50 nations globally offers a high-speed, low-latency internet service that uses low-orbit satellites rather than traditional data lines like DSL or fibre optic. This service is a great option for linking faraway places.

However, Anna Mae Lamentillo, Undersecretary of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), indicated that the service is unavailable to the public currently but did not confirm the service’s actual launch or the availability of company kits.

“At the moment, there are no units here. We’ll formally open the first station,” Lamentillo announced in a message to the media.

The company already disclosed its pricing, with the kit costing US$ 599 (about PHP33,000) up front and US$ 99 (approximately PHP5,400) per month following a 30-day trial period for its 200 megabits per second (Mbps) residential service.

As reported by OpenGov Asia, the Philippines also intends to enhance its internet speed through a subsea cable system project. The submarine fibre optic cable will go from the west coast of the United States to the Philippines, Singapore, and Indonesia. It will give the country more capacity and a better telecommunication system for all worldwide web services.

In 2021, a telco provider in the Philippines signed a contractual agreement to participate in the Bifrost Cable System project with a Singaporean company. The 15,000-kilometer undersea cable system is expected to be finished in 2024.

Meanwhile, digitisation efforts keep intensifying in the Philippines. The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has supported the Bangsamoro government’s initiative to digitalise services throughout Muslim Mindanao’s Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (BARMM).

Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman pledged a consultation on the region’s digital transformation bid on February 17 with crucial representatives from BARMM and authorities from the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center (CICC).

According to Pangandaman, the DBM has a Digital Transformation Roadmap that intends to develop a single primary instrument and source of truth for all fiscal-related procedures. The strategy aims to increase fiscal transparency, management, and accountability in government; eliminate government expenses associated with manual transactions; and prevent red tape and other poor governance activities through paperless transactions.

Pangandaman highlighted that BARMM has also been carrying out others digitalisation projects to increase the convenience of doing business and help activate savings priority programmes in the region. The Bangsamoro government’s digitalisation activities include implementing the Digitised Official Receipt System and discussions on money transactions, email transmissions, account administration, and a verification system.

According to Pangandaman, digital transformation will strengthen intergovernmental links, increase openness in governance, and improve bureaucratic efficiency. Therefore, the government wants to ensure that BARMM is included in these activities.

On separate occasions, Arsenio Balisacan, Secretary of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), stated that it is “high time” to develop the country’s technology infrastructure. Balisacan commented on the first meeting of the President Marcos Jr. administration’s National Innovation Council (NIC). It is also the fourth meeting of the NIC since its inception in 2019.

During the meeting, he noted that the NIC stressed the importance of creating an innovation ecosystem to support and promote innovation as part of the country’s economic culture. He suggested that the Philippines needs to catch up to its global innovation counterparts.


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