PhII is expected to provide at least 10 Mbps to households by 2020 at lower cost.
Yesterday we reported that President Duterte had approved the (National Broadband Plan NBP) for the Philippines. Now the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has shared the working draft of the NBP Plan on its website, and is inviting inputs and comments until 24th March 2017.
Four outcomes form the plan’s vision: Accelerated investment, Mobilized and Engaged Public and Private Sectors, More Places Connected and Increased take-up rate.
We summarise below how that vision is expected to be realised. Several initiatives revolve around laws, policies and regulations, either in terms of issuing new ones or harmonising old ones and eliminating those that are redundant. The other area of focus appears to be on establishing frameworks for private telecom companies to work with the government agencies and with each other and for all existing assets, whether government or private.
One of the most important initiatives mentioned in the draft is the Philippine Integrated Infostructure (PhII), which is supposed to form the core of the broadband infrastructure, leveraging existing assets from across government and acting as an aggregation network. PhII is expected to provide at least 10 Mbps to households by 2020 at lower cost.
In order to accelerate investment, particularly in the unserved and underserved areas, the government will take a number of steps:
Mobilized and Engaged Public and Private Sector
The government will establish strategic partnerships with private sector/industry players, civil society organizations and academia and facilitate their participation through the right mechanisms to deliver more inclusive telecommunications/ICT services.
More Places Connected
PhII is expected to provide a demand-responsive core and aggregation network for the national government agencies, local government units, public elementary and secondary schools, state colleges and universities, public hospitals and rural health units. It will also leverage the existing government assets and initiative such GovNet, IGovPhil, Free Wifi in Public Places and TECH4Ed to further lower implementation costs. A mix of wired and wireless broadband technologies, such as White Space and Satellite and others are considered for middle/last mile segment. Three options are being considered for the last mile:
Increased Take-up Rate
As part of the NBP, the government will focus on stimulating demand and increasing the adoption rate. such as (1) promotion of the use and production of local contents and applications; (2) conduct of digital literacy programs; (3) introduction of conditional fiscal incentives to broadband users; (4) development of a rural technology roadmap; (5) setting up standards to monitor quality of service.
Implementation and monitoring
The Office of the President will release an Executive Order to provide appropriate policies and guidelines towards the plan adoption.
The project can be segmented by major island groups, region or network design, so it can be implemented simultaneously throughout the archipelago to fast track implementation. A Project Management Office will provide oversight for the NBP implementation and establish policies and procedures. Feasibility studies will be followed by call for Proposals and Public Bidding.
For tracking implementation progress, targets and indicators will be set, taking into account the whole broadband ecosystem and adopting the existing standard metrics set by International Communication Union, World Economic Forum etc.
Read the working draft of the NBP here.
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