DICT inks P5.6-B int’l gateway investment with Japan

September 3, 2023, 5:40 pm

MANILA – Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Secretary Ivan John Uy has reported that Japan’s telecom giant IPS Inc. has earmarked an additional USD100 million (PHP5.6 billion) in new investments into the Philippines for 2023 to 2024.

Uy and IPS chief executive officer Koji Miyashita signed a memorandum of support in a ceremony held in Tokyo on Aug. 25 to expand the capacity of a modern and secure gateway for the Philippines to the rest of the world via Japan.

“This will likewise ensure unhampered data connectivity via the Eastern Seaboard away from the highly contested South China Sea,” Uy said in a news release over the weekend.

In another development, InfiniVAN Inc., an IPS affiliate in the Philippines, offered another estimated investment of PHP4 billion under a public-private partnership arrangement that would fast track the deployment and connectivity of the National Broadband Plan, also known as Broadband ng Masa Program (BBMP).

The proposal is now being considered by the DICT.

Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center executive director Alexander Ramos welcomed the partnership with IPS and InfiniVAN as a testament to the nation's growing importance in the global digital landscape.

“The investment aligns seamlessly with the country's Digital Transformation Strategy, which seeks to leverage technology for inclusive growth and progress,” said Ramos, who was also at the Tokyo signing.

During the exploratory talks, InfiniVAN proposed the acquisition of dark fiber pairs on the Infinivan-led Philippine Domestic Submarine Cable Network to complete the backbone of the BBMP.

Securing dark fiber-based capacities on international submarine cable systems that have touch points in major hubs such as Singapore, Taiwan, Japan, the United States and Europe with landing points in the Philippines was also discussed during the exploratory talks in Tokyo.

InfiniVAN’s proposal covers a distance of 2,700 kilometers of fiber optic cable linking Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao and covering 26 new landing points.

They include Batangas-Mindoro, Mindoro-Boracay, Lucena-Marinduque, Marinduque-Tablas, Capiz-Tablas, Masbate1-Capiz, Iloilo-Bacolod, Negros Occidental-Western Cebu, Zamboanga Del Norte1-Negros Oriental, Surigao Del Norte-Southern Leyte, Western Leyte-Cebu1, Samar-Masbate2, Masbate2-Sorsogon, Boracay-Aklan, Siargao-Surigao Del Sur, Camiguin-Misamis Oriental, Masbate1-Western Leyte, Cebu2-Bohol, Bohol-Cagayan de Oro, Cagayan de Oro-Zamboanga Del Norte1, Zamboanga Del Norte2-Zamboanga Del Norte1, Zamboanga Del Norte2-Zamboanga Del Sur, Camarines Sur-Tablas, Southern Leyte-Cebu1, Masbate1-Masbate2 UG Terrestrial, and Cebu1-Cebu2 UG Terrestrial. (PNA)