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Duterte to sign National Broadband Plan January 2017

A National Broadband Plan (NBP) amounting between Php77 Bn to Php200 Bn will be signed  by President Duterte by January next year, 2017. This was according to the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT). 

It would be an infrastructure for Information and Communications Technology (ICT) from the northernmost tip of the Philippines all the way down to the south. This will form the backbone for interconnecting communications technology that will be used by the government and to serve the needs of the people who need access to ICT services.

"Hopefully, we can submit it to the President by the first part of January, kasi pinapa-fast track ko na 'yung detalye,"  CICT Secretary Salalima said.

It was noted that during the first State of the Nation Address (SONA), President Duterte instructed the DICT to facilitate the improvement of ICT in the entire country with emphasis on those who have yet to have access to such services.

Inter-agency consultations were conducted that resulted in a plan that will encompass the entire length of the country.

"Ito 'yung sinasabi natin na: We put up the infrastructure from north to south, but the priority of the infrastructure is to serve government and people in the countryside na hindi naaabot ng telco service providers," the DICT chief disclosed.

The plan consists of using the grid of the National Grid Corporation that runs 5,000 to 10,000 kilometers of fiber optic cables. This will then be the backbone of thr proposed ICT infrastructure. 

"Now, because we have agreed with what option to use, we will put up the details of the specific costs so that once we are done with finalizing the plan, we will refer it back to the President – for the President to declare it as approved," Salalima noted.

The plan will then be gradually implemented once it gets the imprimatur of President Duterte. It is projected that implementation would entail two to three years.

Such an infrastructure will have a wide range of developmental impacts such as government services, business, startups, education, spurring ICT growth in regions and enabling the people access to information and technology needed to catapult less developed regions into the 21st Century.

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