Govt taps Facebook for better PH internet


The government is partnering with Facebook for the construction of high-speed information gateways that are expected to significantly boost internet services in the Philippines.

The Luzon Bypass Infrastructure initiative was announced on Wednesday by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA).

Eliseo Rio, DICT undersecretary for special concerns, told The Manila Times that the BCDA would be responsible for bidding out the construction of two cable landing stations in Luzon, with the DICT responsible for operations and maintenance of the system.

The submarine cable system itself will be handled by Facebook, which in return for use of the infrastructure will provide the Philippines high-speed access equivalent to two million megabits per second.

“At present, the government is getting this service from the two big telcos at a cost and speed that is one of the highest and slowest in the region,” Rio claimed.

“This speed will be experienced by our citizens free of charge in public places by virtue of RA (Republic Act) 10929 in places like schools, parks, hospitals, provincial, municipal, barangay offices, etc nationwide. Also, online government services including education and health will be available through fast and affordable internet access,” he said.

The Luzon Bypass Infrastructure is expected to be operational by the end of 2019.

Costs were not disclosed and officials said the initiative could be expanded to cover the Visayas and Mindanao.


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