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Widespread availability of high-speed and affordable broadband access to the internet in remote and rural areas of the country will soon be a reality through the electric cooperatives (ECs).

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has officially tapped the ECs under the supervision of the National Electrification Administration (NEA) for the “last mile” of the government’s National Broadband Plan (NBP) project which aims to improve the country’s access to the internet.

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) was inked Friday (August 17) between the DICT, NEA and the Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives Association, Inc. (PHILRECA), formalizing the tripartite collaboration “to realize the objectives of the NBP, including but not limited to the co-use of fiber optic cables.”

NEA Administrator Edgardo Masongsong and PHILRECA President Presley De Jesus signed the MOU on behalf of their parties. DICT Undersecretary Denis Villorente was represented by DICT Regional Director Erlito Tancontian, who also stood as witness.

Also present to witness the MOU signing was Philippine Federation of Electric Cooperatives (PHILFECO) chairman David Solomon Siquian during the first PHILRECA-PHILFECO Joint Convention at SM City General Santos Trade Hall.

“The NEA and DICT have started exploring arrangements to bring broadband connectivity into the countryside by tapping the existing infrastructure of the ECs,” said Masongsong during the signing ceremony.

“The NEA and DICT have started exploring arrangements to bring broadband connectivity into the countryside.”

“Let me affirm our full commitment and support to the National Broadband of the government. We will work hand-in-hand and rest assured our commitments will become realities,” the NEA chief added.

“Let me affirm our full commitment and support to the National Broadband of the government.”

Under the agreement, the NEA and PHILRECA will coordinate with the ECs regarding the NBP project. The DICT, on the other hand, shall be allowed to connect or access the ECs’ existing nodes so that it may link with other government agencies.

In its tripartite agreement with the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) and the National Transmission Corp. (TransCo) last June 8, the DICT was given the right to use their dark fiber network.

 

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