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DICT partners for billion dollar fibre network

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) had recently formalised its billion-dollar partnership with a Singapore-based company’s Philippine fibre optic subsidiary.

According to a recent press release, the partners inked a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), which will strengthen the network connectivity of the Philippines through the company’s investment valued at US$1 to US$2 billion, to be accumulated in various phases between 2019 and 2028.

The Agreement

The Department, in turn, will be providing assistance to the company in procuring the required permits and licenses for the successful implementation of their initiative.

There is a need for more fibre optic cables in this country. This partnership will, therefore, greatly improve the telecommunication services of the Philippines.

As reported, the company will invest in rolling out fibre optics cable nationwide, which they will then lease or rent out to telecommunication companies (telecoms), internet service providers (ISPs), cable TV operators; from the backbone, the middle mile and the last mile or from fibre to the home.

The DICT Acting Secretary shared that the country can now have cable networks that anybody can use.

Benefits of the Agreement

If telecoms and other players will just rent the use of fibre optic cable laid down by a common provider, it becomes viable for them to rent.

At the same time, the provider can recover its return on investment (ROI) from these rentals.

Furthermore, this initiative is aligned with the National Broadband Plan.

He added that the fibre optic cable roll-out through this partnership will also form part of the DICT’s Free Public Wi-Fi network to reach the unserved and underserved areas in the country.

This investment project will greatly improve the status of communication infrastructure, particularly the fibre network.

At the same time, it will improve the broadband penetration rate and speed to meet the needs of the general public.

This will address the need to extend the fibre optic network to rural areas, which telecoms are unable to do at the moment because of its “non-viability.”

Fibre optic cables provide greater bandwidth capacity and allows for faster speeds with wider range. Once established, it will become the new shared network infostructure in the Philippines.

Going forward, the Department and the company will closely coordinate to commence the implementation of the FOC Network.

Initiatives related to the National Broadband Plan

OpenGov Asia recently reported on DICT receiving a USTDA grant for the National Broadband Plan implementation.

The grant supports the Philippine Government’s goal of improving connectivity across the country and moving towards a digital economy.

It will fund technical assistance for DICT in refining technical and operational designs, assessing future market demand, and preparing documentation required for the financing and implementation of the NBP.

OpenGov Asia also reported on the Signing of a Tripartite Agreement to boost the Philippines’ National Broadband Plan.

The report detailed how the Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) signed by DICT, the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) and the National Transmission Corporation (TransCo) will allow the utilisation of a 6,154-kilometre spare optical fibre for the implementation of the NBP.

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