Despite getting just P1.9 billion of its P18 billion budget for the National Broadband Program (NBP), the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) is fast tracking the build out of a supplemental infrastructure – a”resiliency route”, to future-proof the project.
Establishing a resiliency route serves as safety net against any unforeseen issues that may delay the project, explained Secretary Gregorio “Gringo” B. Honasan II.
The resiliency route is connected to Singapore and serves as an alternate route in the Asia Region.
It also serves as a backup or redundancy connection to ensure continuous connectivity for the NBP in the case of any disruptions in the Pacific Light Cable Network (PLCN), which is currently connected to the NBP’s cable landing station in Baler, Aurora and to Los Angeles, California.
Under the NBP, the cable landing stations connected to the program’s cable landing stations, or the Luzon Bypass Infrastructure (LBI), provide the international connection for the national fiber backbone.
The resiliency route will support the country’s metropolitan centers for commercial, financial, and administrative activities.
These include Metro Manila, Metro Cebu, and Metro Davao.
“Central to our efforts to rebuild the national economy, which was severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, is providing fast, reliable and affordable digital connectivity to the commercial centers,” the DICT Secretary underscored.
“Of course, we are also deploying ICT infrastructure in rural areas as well as geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas (GIDA),” he added.
The NBP is a government-owned broadband network meant to provide aster, wider-reaching, and more affordable Internet services.
The DICT partnered with the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) to procure the National Fiber Backbone Phase 1 Project in early 2021.
The NBP Phase 1, which will be completed by the end of the year, activates 28 nodes of the national fiber backbone located in 12 provinces in Luzon.
The final phase is expected to be completed in 2025.
“Despite limited funding for the implementation of the NBP, DICT studied other means to continue and speed up the construction of the national broadband network, ” Secretary Honasan stated.