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Thursday, 30.05.2024
eGovernment Forschung seit 2001 | eGovernment Research since 2001
Sale of public calling offices abandoned

A government plan to privatize its network of Telecommunications Offices (Telof) nationwide will no longer be pursued, as it is mulling the use of those facilities for a project aimed at connecting the national bureaucracy all the way down to the barangay level using broadband technology.

Documents obtained from the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) showed that the old equipment of Telof will no longer be sold, and instead will be used for the National Broadband Network (NBN) Project.

The document further said a Project Management Office will be formed by the Department of Transportations and Communication (DOTC), absorbing Telof personnel who will be dedicated to the NBN and who will manage and coordinate all aspects of the construction phase.

The project cost is estimated at P19.396 billion of which P18.99 billion, or $379.99 million would be financed by a foreign loan and P397 million will represent the government’s counterpart.

Of the total cost, P10.66 billion will be spent for machi­neries and equipment; P3.84 billion for site preparation civil works (backbone and base stations); P1.5 billion, system implementation and engineering; P1.389 billion, site engineering for school sites; P414.36 million, services for construction and integration; P97.43 million, training; P1.068 billion, managed service and link charges; and P397 million, project management cost.

The Chinese Export-Import Bank will provide the loan, which carries a 3-percent interest and payable in 20 years, with repayment starting five years after the release of the credit.

Total operations and maintenance cost is estimated at P11.511 billion throughout the 15-year life of the project.

The proposed project will build an Internet Protocol (IP)-based network as a single platform infrastructure for the implementation of services such as data, voice, video/video conferencing, and Internet.

It will also entail upgrading the existing Telof facilities into an IP-based network to provide more public access points and extend information and communication technology services particularly to unserved and underserved areas.

The project will provide the network requirements of government agencies for voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), e-Government and e-Education.

Once implemented, the project will reduce the government’s fixed line subscription costs by as much as 50 percent and its fax and mobile phone costs by about 8 percent. For the last two years, the government incurred P3 billion in telecommunications expenses.

Ricardo Diaz, DOTC director for communication said the implementation of NBN is expected to start by September.

He said that the Chinese state-run company ZTE will install the required infrastructure for the project. The company will build a WIMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) system, to be upgraded and overlaid with IP-based digital lines. A total of 14 microwave relay stations will be installed including regional cluster base stations.

Diaz said ZTE has the capacity to meet the project requirements.

The government of China has designated ZTE as the main contractor of the project.

The DOTC official further said that Amsterdam Holdings Corp., the original proponent of the project failed to submit required documents, while a United States-based company, Arescom, submitted a different project proposal that would involves only the Department of Interior and Local Government.

ZTE is one of the primary installers of 3G (Third Generation) systems all over the world. It also supplies some of the next generation network technology requirements of Philippine carriers such as Digital Telecommunications Philippines Inc. and Bayan Telecommunications Inc.

Autor(en)/Author(s): Darwin G. Amojelar

Quelle/Source: The Manila Times, 14.05.2007

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