As a result of their National Broadband Program, the Philippines will save US$15.4 million (750 million pesos), according to the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).
The National Broadband Program is part of the Philippines Government’s plan to accelerate the deployment of fibre optic optic cables and wireless technology across the country, especially in remote areas considered unprofitable by the private sector.
“President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive is very clear — to improve Internet connectivity in the Philippines to help the Filipino people better adapt to the new normal,” said Gregorio B. Honasan II, Secretary of the DICT.
The Government will gain access to cheaper and more reliable Internet services, reducing spending on Internet subscriptions by receiving service at US$1.03 (50 pesos) per megabits per second of bandwidth per month.
“That is why the DICT is doubling its efforts in accelerating the implementation of various digital connectivity initiatives, especially the National Broadband Program,” added Mr. Honasan.
Currently, the Government spends around US$7.23 (350 pesos) per Mbps per month, meaning that an average sized Government agency requiring 100 Mbps of shared Internet connectivity across a whole building spends around US$723 (35,000 pesos) per month, or US$8,679 (420,000 pesos) a year.
With the National Broadband Program, an average Agency in the Philippines would now only spend US$103 (5,000 pesos) a month, or US$1,239 (60,000 pesos) a year for the same speed. This saving on taxpayer’s money can be used for other programs and improving social services.
The National Broadband Program will be carried out in several phases.
Phase 1, which is expected to commence by the end of 2020, will see the activation of a cable landing station in the Baler, the capital of the Philippines’ Aurora province.
After activation, the DICT will light up several internet nodes that will connect with other DICT infrastructure. This will then provide increased bandwidth and free WiFi to residents in the area.
Phase 2 is expected to begin in 2022 and will cover islands Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
In the second phase of the National Broadband Program will save the Philippines a total of US$701 million (34 billion pesos), according to the DICT.
In comparison to neighbouring countries, the Philippines has a lower budget for its National Broadband Network. Indonesia is reported to have allocated over $US 22 billion for its 5-year plan, Singapore is improving their networks by spending US$550 million, while Australia and New Zealand have allocated around US$37 billion and US$1.19 billion, respectively.
In a recent Ookla Global Index, the Philippines was found to have significantly improved in Internet speed, marking a 216.94% increase in fixed broadband speed and a 127.82% increase in mobile Internet speed from July 2016 to July 2020.