TACLOBAN CITY — The National Electrification Administration (NEA) is upbeat on the expansion of broadband access in the country, providing all power consumers a chance to access the internet.
Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) acting Secretary Eliseo Rio, Jr. will present the government’s National Broadband Plan in a gathering of all key officials of electric cooperatives (ECs) nationwide in Manila on August 7.
This will be the second big step on broadband access expansion initiatives after initial discussions between NEA and DICT officials early this month, said NEA Administrator Edgardo Masongsong in a press briefing here late Thursday afternoon.
“After the gathering we will form a technical group to study the details of the project and come up with a timeline,” he said.
The group will draft the framework agreement, which will include the financial arrangement with the ECs that have existing fiber optic cables in their distribution lines and possible funding for power utilities.
“This is very important because NEA has already access to 95 percent of households, especially in rural areas,” Rio said in a statement. ECs supervised by the NEA can be internet service providers in their respective coverage areas.
“We’ll give you the internet access and you can bring it to your client. Then, they can now enjoy their electricity and they have internet access. This is also an added income,” the DICT official added.
The NEA chief said some ECs, particularly those in Mindanao, already have fiber-optic infrastructure in place so it would be easier for them to provide internet services to communities they serve.
Last June 8, DICT signed a tripartite agreement with the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) and the National Transmission Corp. (TransCo) for the utilization of spare optical fiber to accelerate the implementation of the National Broadband Plan.
Under the agreement, the DICT is given the right to use and access certain spare fiber optic cores, vacant lots, tower spaces and related facilities of the NGCP, the current concessionaire of the TransCo-owned grid.