DICT eyes widening of internet access in Philippines through 'fiberization'

Jasmin Romero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 16 2021 11:15 PM


MANILA - The Department of Information and Communications Technology said Tuesday they are focusing on “fiberization” to boost internet connection in the country in the next months and years, instead of just setting up free WiFi sites.

“When we put up free WiFi sites, we end up paying the 70% of the costs to the internet service provider… And it is not sustainable,” DICT Undersecretary Emmanuel Rey Caintic said in a press conference.

“We create a fiber backbone so that is where everything else will piggyback.”

Based on the 2019 study of the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS), the country is still “very” far from achieving wider internet accessibility.

Caintic said it is necessary to build infrastructure first so “all the WiFi sites can mushroom up afterward”.

“There is a national broadband program and we already started with the Phase 1 using the NGCP (National Grid Corporation of the Philippines) route. But in the next few months, we will expound this further by encouraging companies that are capable of building expanding the fibers thru each and every municipality in the province," he said.

"The point of this is to be able to expand quickly to all provinces and municipalities and barangay level that create a backbone network."

The department will also focus on areas private telcos are not investing in.

“We want to lay down fibers where the telcos do not find it financially viable and feasible for them. It is all economic for us, sa kanila naman financials. It is the job of the government to spur the growth in these areas to the countryside,” Caintic said.

The DICT, along with Department of Science and Technology, Department of Trade and Industry and other private stakeholders, launched the Philippine Start Up Week on Monday to spur support for local businesses or start-ups, recognizing their role in innovations and economic development. 

The conference will end on Nov. 18.


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