By Ernie Reyes
MANILA — Sen. Grace Poe said the Filipino people are looking forward
to the government’s promised 200 megabits per second (Mbps) internet
speed for state agencies and departments with the completion of Phase
1 of the much-touted National Broadband Plan (NBP).
“We expect that by February 2022, we will actually feel the 200 Mpbs
speed as committed by the government,” Poe said in her interpellation
of the proposed budget of the Department of Information and
Communications Technology (DICT).
“Like the invention of electricity over a century ago, broadband
technology is the key to jobs, economic growth, and better way of life
as we cope with the pandemic,” she said.
Poe said the Senate will continue supporting the completion of the NBP
aimed at addressing the longstanding internet connection quality in
From her interpellation of Sen. Ronald dela Rosa, plenary sponsor of
the DICT’s proposed 2022 budget, it was learned that Phase 1 of
the program is expected to be rolled out in February next year. The
program has three phases.
This will increase the internet speed in government offices to 200
Mbps in the National Capital Region, Region 1, Region 3, and parts of
The current average fixed broadband download speed is 70 Mbps and 33
Mbps for mobile downloads.
“We commend the effort of the agency and I think the telcos are also
ramping up the improvements they need to do, knowing that many are
working from home,” Poe said.
Poe also pushed for the provision of free WiFi connections in State
Universities and Colleges (SUCs) to address the connectivity needs of
students and teachers.
The DICT said it has so far established 1,832 live sites in SUCs and
Technical Education and Skills Development Authority institutions,
while 9,586 live sites were set up in public places.
It also has 2,989 sites in government hospitals, medical centers,
rural health units, quarantine facilities, and vaccination centers.
Poe is the author of Republic Act 11311 or the Better Terminals law,
which requires free internet services and clean sanitary facilities
for commuters on transportation terminals.
The Department of Budget and Management approved a P6.47-billion
budget for DICT for 2022. This was augmented by the Senate in its
version of the appropriations bill to P9.5 billion.
“With the financial muscle from Congress, we hope the DICT will
fast track the completion of the broadband program. A fast, reliable, and affordable internet reaching unserved and underserved areas will
help us cope with the pandemic. We trust that the DICT is up to the
landmark task,” Poe said. (ai/mtvn)