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MANILA – The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) has partnered with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to pilot test satellite broadband connectivity that will provide internet connection in remote areas.
“It is for this reason that PCCI championed the signing of Executive Order 127 in 2021. (The) said EO amended EO 467 of 1997 to remove the franchise requirement in the access of international satellite systems,” PCCI said in a statement Wednesday.
PCCI president George Barcelon said this initiative would help those in remote areas to tap opportunities and services using digital technology, especially during the pandemic.
Under the partnership, PCCI and DICT will choose six areas across the country for the pilot run of the internet via satellite project.
“As we transition out of the pandemic, remote work and internet-enabled services in education, health, trade and supply chain management, and even government services could remain to be the norm where possible. In this regard, we need to scale up our digital infrastructure,” Barcelon said.
He added that with the country’s topography, “internet over satellite is one of the best and fastest ways for us to leapfrog into the future of digital connectivity”.
Barcelon said this satellite project should benefit micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), local government units, public schools, and local clinics, among others.
The PCCI chief added this internet via satellite can help attract investments to develop these remote areas.
PCCI Information Committee chair Perry Ferrer said it is critical to provide accessible and reliable internet services in the underserved and unserved areas.
Ferrer added internet services should also be made affordable especially for those who have significantly lower purchasing power than those in urban areas.
Data from DICT’s 2019 National ICT Household Survey showed that among the barangays in the Philippines, 88 percent do not have access to free Wi-Fi, 60 percent do not have telecommunications towers, and 70 percent do not have fiber optic cables. (PNA)