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Donnerstag, 25.02.2021
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The government was urged to prioritize the fast implementation of the National Broadband Plan to accelerate economic recovery.

The president of independent think tank Stratbase Albert del Rosario Institute (ADRi), Prof. Dindo Manhit, said this is critical in meeting the increasing demand for reliable and fast broadband services that all sectors need to sustain operations.

The National Broadband Plan (NBP) is the government’s broadband infrastructure blueprint to install fiber optic and wireless technologies to improve internet accessibility, broadband speed, and affordability.

Manhit said in a statement, “The innovative talent and creative skills of Filipinos is a potential that can be transformed into an economic pillar that will drive the economy in a digitalized new normal.”

He added, “Our efforts to rebuild economic momentum will not happen if the country’s digital infrastructure is not ready to deliver the broadband speeds required to support a cloud-based ecosystem.”

According to the IMD World Digital Competitiveness Ranking (WDCR) 2020, Asean governments are upgrading telecommunications infrastructure: Malaysia is spending $233 million for increasing coverage and broadband speed; Thailand, $343 million to connect thousands of villages; and Vietnam, $820 million for a 23,000-kilometer submarine cable system.

“The Philippine government should take the cue from its Asean neighbors who are already investing aggressively to boost broadband services to world class levels.” Manhit said.

“The implementation of the National Broadband Plan should be prioritized as a critical infrastructure project in the government loan portfolio that will generate long-term benefits to public and private ecosystems,” Manhit said.

The Department of Information and Communications proposed P18 billion to implement the National Broadband Plan but was only allocated less than P1.5 billion in the 2021 national budget.

Big shift to online

Philippine telcos have reported a 500-percent increase in data usage when lockdowns started last year because of the massive shift to online services to adapt to travel restrictions and working from home.

Globe Telecom President and CEO Ernest Cu said, “While the new sites will need time to be built and fired up, the recent unimpeded permitting process has proven to be the much-needed catalyst for the telco industry. Improving the country’s state of connectivity and internet speed is a continuing effort that requires both public and private sector support.”

The Ayala-led telco is boosting investments by 250 percent in 2021 and will build 2,000 new cell towers and sites next year and expand their 5G network to more cities and municipalities in Metro Manila.

Smart Communications is allocating between P88 billion and P92 billion in capital expenditure and will expand services to the unserved and underserved areas in the country.


Quelle/Source: Business Mirror, 25.01.2021

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