DITO Telecommunity, the third major telecommunications provider in the country, opened the new year by making a big announcement. On January 10, the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) signed an agreement with DITO that provides a dedicated nationwide fiber network to directly connect the different municipalities of the country. This will include public areas within the respective barangays—including schools and other key institutions—in a bid to ensure fast, upgraded, secure, and reliable service to the respective constituents.
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These efforts are being pioneered by LMP president and incumbent Narvacan, Ilocos Sur Mayor Luis “Chavit” Singson who says that it make them future-ready.
“In other developed countries, governments already have their own private networks, and in the Philippines there have been several attempts,” Singson says, “but now with this DITO-supported initiative, and the support of the Department of Information and Communications Technology, and the Office of the President, our municipalities will be connected real time through its own private network.”
DITO has continued to make grounds in the last few years since it was named as the provisional winner for the country’s third major telco in November of 2018.
Back then, it was called Mislatel, a consortium supported by Dennis Uy’s Udenna Corporation, its subsidiary Chelsea Logistics and Infrastructure Holdings, and China Telecom. Mislatel won six radio frequency bandwidth and a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN), and after receiving the latter, the company promptly changed its name to DITO Telecommunity.
The provider pledged internet speeds of a minimum of 27MBPS, comparable to that of Singapore. Last year, DITO signed agreements with contractor-partners and tower providers China Energy Equipment Co. Ltd and the Filipino-Malaysian ZEAL Power Construction and Development Corp. Before then, it had partnered with Singson’s LCS Group for common tower lease and Sky Cable Corp for the utilization of unused fiber-optic cables in Metro Manila.
Last November, it announced that its investments will exceed the PHP 302 billion they initially planned. Two days after the signing of the agreement with LMP, DITO chief administrative officer Atty. Adel Tamano announced that they will start accepting subscribers by this year.
Tamano adds that the agreement with LMP allows each and every municipality to provide beyond the standard free WIFI hotspots. “The effort significantly affords Filipinos even in the smallest of municipalities the advanced applications that can be driven through the private network,” he says. These include direct video for conferencing or security, public broadcast exchange, e-Education, e-Medicine, e-Permits, Internet of Things, IP PBX, VoIP, among other things.
These efforts are “to better live up to the promise of delivering the kind of connectedness and community that Filipinos long for,” Tamano says. “The Mayors have committed to ensure ease of doing business in their respective municipalities to drive the extensive DITO roll-out. In exchange, DITO will enable better collaboration and communication in the future through connectivity for all.”
Singson points out that many of the municipalities have limited internet services because of their lower population. “With the commitment of DITO to connect all the municipalities via a dedicated fiber line, we are on the verge of something big, benefiting especially those in out-of-reach places like the farmers, the workers at the grass roots level who can now offer their local produce and services immediately to the rest of the country or to the world, greatly boosting the local economy up to the municipality level,” he says.