Luzon Bypass Infrastructure Project


Anna Mae Lamentillo

Embracing digital transformation is now inescapable. The pivot towards digitalization is now a necessity.
President Bongbong Marcos has given his marching orders to advance digital connectivity across the country by prioritizing digital infrastructure development to provide fast, dependable, and affordable internet access to all Filipinos, expanding connectivity in the underserved and unserved areas of the country.

In line with this, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) under the leadership of Secretary Ivan John Uy is fast-tracking the Philippine digital transformation.

One of its priorities is the completion of the Luzon Bypass Infrastructure (LBI) Project, a 240-kilometer fiber corridor that will connect the government-owned cable landing stations (CLS) in Baler, Aurora and in Poro Point, La Union, with repeater stations at 50-km intervals.

The cable landing stations are integral component of the National Broadband Program (NBP), which aims to significantly improve the quality and cost of internet connectivity in the country. Moreover, the LBI will provide international submarine cables a safe alternative path across Luzon Strait, which has a history of seismic hazards causing multiple submarine cable breaks.

A Landing Party Agreement (LPA) was signed by the DICT, the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), and Facebook. Upon completion, the BCDA will turn over the facilities to the DICT, which will operate the LBI, maintain the related facilities, and provide last mile connectivity in the Philippines.

Meanwhile, in exchange for utilizing the Luzon Bypass Infrastructure, Facebook will provide the Philippine Government with spectrum equivalent to at least 2,000,000 MBPS, significantly expanding the capacity available for the government’s connectivity programs. This is 50 times the current government capacity of only 40,000 MBPS.

Although Facebook is the first party to utilize the LBI, the DICT intends to expand the existing government-owned CLS to other submarine cable providers from the private sector.

Once the country is linked to the rest of the world through the LBI, a fiber backbone will be installed and cascaded to all barangays. The National Fiber Backbone (NFB) will eventually link to middle-mile networks and terminate to last-mile components and digital endpoints.

Now that access to the internet has become a basic human right, the government is committed to improving the country’s ICT infrastructure. The Luzon Bypass Infrastructure is one of the major projects of DICT that will not only ensure that accessible, fast, reliable, and affordable internet is made available to every Filipino, but also for the government to improve its productivity and the efficient delivery of public services.