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Enhanced Network Connectivity for Remote Areas in the Philippines

The Philippines’ Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) is expected to have strong and reliable connectivity by 2023 after an internet service provider committed to providing a fibre-optic broadband network and satellite connectivity to the most remote mountain towns.

Given the region’s terrain, which will make installing fibre optic cables difficult, satellite global technology will be used to connect hard-to-reach areas. The lines will be implemented in seven Benguet towns, six municipalities in Mountain Province, four towns in Kaling and four in Abra; this will all be completed during the Phase 1 installation which is expected to end by January 2022.

We would like to build a world-class digital highway through the Cordillera and support the growth and development of the provinces. We would like to see the Cordillera provinces beginning to use the technology to deliver the much-needed service to the people.

– Chief executive officer of Philippines ICT solutions company

The installation of fibre optic cables is the responsibility of a network and ICT company’s lead engineer who confirmed that several backbone cables have been installed in the towns of La Trinidad, Sablan, Tuba and Tublay (BLSTT), with the majority of the cables active and reaching homes.

The engineer elaborated that by March 2022 to 2023, the cable lines would have reached Asipulo, Alfonso Lista, Kiangan, and Lagawe in Ifugao; Pudtol, Kabugao and Flora in Apayao; Paracelis, Barlig, and Natonin in Mountain Province; and Kabayan, Kapangan and Kibungan in Benguet, including Banaue and Hingyon in Ifugao, for the last leg of the project which will be followed by the continuing expansion project to bring secondary lines in homes and offices.

In his speech following the signing of the MOA, Mountain Province Governor said that an improved communication network will not only allow local governments to provide better and faster services. It will also benefit students and the community as a whole. The signing was witnessed by the Presidential Legal Counsel, who facilitated the inclusion of the Cordillera in the company’s expansion project. The Governor of Benguet, on the other hand, hopes for improved performance of the existing connectivity service.

“We are happy that the company included the Cordillera as an expansion project. It is a defining moment for the people of the Cordillera,” said the province Mayor of Tabuk City, Kalinga. He acknowledged that their plan to reopen tourism will need internet service as they have an online registration portal to control the number of tourists. Their inclusion in the project will significantly aid in economic recovery.

The CEO of the ICT solution company stated in a recorded video message that his company’s goal is to go to unserved and underserved areas and that the company’s goal is to connect the majority of Filipino households and the signing of the MOA will bring them closer to that goal.

Regarding other initiatives implemented to boost the Philippines’s ICT infrastructure, OpenGov Asia in an article reported that the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT) introduced the “Digital Infrastructure Monitoring System, a monitoring mechanism for tower construction designed to improve permit processing time and accelerate the deployment of connectivity infrastructure in the country.

“Through the Monitoring System, we endeavour to “future-proof” our Common Tower Initiative by ensuring that our streamlining efforts in the previous years will not go to waste and continue to contribute to building a more far-reaching and robust ICT infrastructure in the country, regardless of changes in national leadership. The case is when a new administration sits in, some projects of the previous admin are side-lined to give way to the projects of the current admin — we don’t want that to happen,” the DICT secretary said.

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