Philippines president approves national broadband plan

telecomasia.net

Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte has approved a National Broadband Plan involving the deployment of fiber and wireless networking technologies across the country.

The network will be used to run online government services and connect rural areas to the internet, CNN Philippines reported.

According to the report, the network will primarily used to host a national government portal designed to act as a one-stop shop for government services for citizens.

But the government will also use the network to provide internet services in remote areas underserved by commercial operators due to a lack of commercial viability. The government is then considering leasing use of the network to operators so they can offer services in the areas.

The broadband plan has not yet been finalized, but is estimated to cost between 70 billion pesos and 200 billion pesos.

Officials expect the price to be on the lower end of this range, but have indicated they will be open to looking for project partners if a planned feasibility study reveals that the estimated price turns out to be higher than expected

The Philippines had attempted to build a national broadband network once before in 2007, but the project was abandoned after a scandal involving then-president Gloria Arroyo, her husband and ten others allegedly demanding bribes from ZTE in exchange for providing the contract. ZTE denied involvement in the scandal.

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