MANILA— The National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) has affirmed that current transmission facilities will be able to support the government’s goal of bringing high-speed internet nationwide.
In a news release issued Wednesday, NGCP president and CEO, Henry Sy Jr., disclosed that the company has been working with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the Department of Energy (DOE) “to put this project forward”.
“Talks began even in the past administration. As early as 2012, we were already exploring the broadband potential of our facilities with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), which was the lead agency for the project at that time. Under the current administration, talks have been ongoing for the past six months,” said Sy.
”We’ve given the DICT and DOE all the information they need to put this project forward. We’ve informed them that the current transmission facility will be able to support the broadband network envisioned by the government. NGCP’s wide fiber optic network and related resources are sufficient to support this priority program under Pres. Rodrigo Duterte’s administration. We are just waiting for details from our government partners.”
Sy further called as “untrue” the National Transmission Corp.’s (TransCo) allegations that “there are communication facilities which are installed in the transmission building without (TransCo’s) permission” and that this constitutes a violation of their concession agreement.
“Our concession agreement specifically allows us to develop the transmission facility and engage in any business which maximizes the utilization of the transmission assets,” he explained. “Any statement to the contrary is unfair and does not reflect the true state of affairs.”
According to the NGCP, as the country’s sole power transmission operator, it has thousands of fiber optic facilities that run from Luzon to Mindanao for internal communication purposes, and is ready to lease these fiber optic lines to enable the government to upgrade the country’s internet speed and reduce the amount of time needed to complete the project.
The company further noted that while the Philippines ranked last in terms of average connection speed in the Asia-Pacific region on Akamai’s fourth quarter report, the country has shown promise with a 44 percent increase from the previous year.
“NGCP fully supports the government’s efforts in creating a national broadband plan for the Philippines. We look forward to seeing DICT’s plans come into fruition as having a stable internet connection is now a very important productivity tool, and keeps the whole country connected,” it stated.