National broadband to cut gov’t spending, save P720-M by 2021

National broadband to cut gov’t spending, save P720-M by 2021

MANILA – The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) is expecting its National Broadband Program (NBP) to save PHP720 million in funds for the first year of its implementation alone.

In a statement on Tuesday, the DICT said the NBP, which will initially be deployed in “remote, inaccessible, and considered unprofitable areas by the private sector,” will significantly cut government spending on internet services.

“With this, the government will have access to cheaper and more reliable Internet services that will reduce government spending,” the DICT said.

From the average spending of a medium-sized government office of PHP35,000 per month for 100 megabits per second (Mbps), it said the internet service provided by the NBP will only cost PHP5,000 per month.

“With the NBP, an average office would now only spend PHP5,000 a month, or PHP60,000 a year for the same speed — saving the taxpayers money that can be used for other programs and projects, and in improving social services,” the DICT said.

DICT Secretary Gregorio Honasan II said the first phase of the NBP will be active by the end of 2020.

“We can expect that by the end of 2020, Phase 1 of the NBP will begin operations, and by 2021, we can already feel the effects of said initiative,” Honasan said.

For Phase 1 of the NBP, the DICT will activate the cable landing station in Baler, Aurora, and connect to the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) node in San Fernando, La Union through the Luzon Bypass Infrastructure.

The DICT said four DICT nodes and 15 NGCP nodes — connected with various DICT equipment — will then be activated.

“From there, will be able to provide bandwidth to nearby govnet (government network) clients and Free-WiFi beneficiaries,” the DICT said.

It noted that if DICT’s additional budget request of about PHP17 billion for the fiscal year 2021 is approved, the proposed Phase 2 of the NBP will cover Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao — with a projected savings of around PHP34 billion in government internet expenses. (PNA)

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