PhilSA installs Starlink in 2 GIDAs

By Ma. Cristina Arayata

March 27, 2023, 6:36 pm

MANILA – The Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA) announced Monday that it has installed Starlink satellite internet in two geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas (GIDAs).

Barangay Apad in Jomalig town, Quezon province, and Barangay Dikapanikian in Dingalan town, Aurora province, benefited from the satellite internet utilization that is part of PhilSA's INCENTIVISE (Introducing Non-Geostationary Satellite Constellations Test Deployments to Improve Internet Service) project, which calls for new Satellite Internet Operators (SIOs) to launch test deployments in selected remote sites.

PhilSA said the deployment of SpaceX-operated internet is intended for public education and local governance. Students, teachers and local government offices in the the two barangays will have free connectivity for six months.

"This initiative is meant to demonstrate the capabilities of new and emerging space technologies, such as Low Earth Orbit internet satellite constellations, in bridging the connectivity gap especially in remote and rural areas," said PhilSA Director General Joel Marciano in a statement.

Satellite overlays complement and coexist with the continuing rollout of terrestrial infrastructure and undersea cable for connecting the country's many islands, he added.

Meanwhile, PhilSA said it was in October 2021 when SpaceX responded to their INCENTIVISE call. According to PhilSA, Starlink features an easy-to-setup system, making it ideal in remote locations.

PhilSA said DepEd Jomalig, Quezon Public Schools District Supervisor Sharon Villaverde acknowledged the huge help the project brings them.

"Malaking tulong ang mabilis na internet sa mga teachers and students lalo na sa lesson planning dahil may access na sila sa online resources... Nakakatulong din ang pagkakaroon ng signal sa panahon ng sakuna sapagkat ang Barangay Apad at malimit daanan ng bagyo (Having high-speed Internet is a great help to the students and teachers especially in creating lesson plans as they now have access to online resources... Having connectivity in times of disasters is helpful, especially as Barangay Apad is frequented by typhoons)," Villaverde was quoted as saying. (PNA)