Expanded access to satellite technology to boost digitalization in PH: BSP

Bruce Rodriguez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 15 2021 06:10 PM

MANILA - The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said Thursday the measure meant to expand internet providers' access to satellite services will "contribute" to its financial inclusion and digitalization goals.

President Rodrigo Duterte recently signed Executive Order No. 127 (Expanding the Provision of Internet Services through Inclusive Access to Satellites Services), which expands the access of telecommunication entities such as internet service providers and operators of apps and web-based services registered with the National Telecommunications Commission to all satellite systems to improve the quality of their services. 

"These developments will contribute towards the BSP’s financial inclusion targets, namely, that 70 percent of the adult population should own a transaction account, and second, that half of all retail payments should be in digital form by 2023," BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said in a briefing.

The measure will also help deploy necessary infrastructure to remote areas in the shortest time possible. The BSP said it is also seeking to allow banks or group of banks, to register and operate their own satellite broadband for customers under the EO.

The law's implementing rules and regulations are still being finalized, the central bank said.

"By leveraging on liberalized access to satellite technology, banks and other financial service providers in remote areas may now be able put up more access points such as automated teller machines, cash agents, and branch lite operations," Diokno said.

Satellite systems will indeed help provide internet access to remote areas otherwise unreachable by fiber technology, Converge ICT earlier said, as it revealed talks with Elon Musk's Starlink low-orbit satellite system technology.

Although it's still "premature" to talk about a concrete deal, the fiber broadband provider said discussions are on-going.

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