The Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), together with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), launched on Wednesday, November 15, the Strategic Engagement and Collaboration to Undertake a Reliable and Efficient Government Internet (SECURE GovNet) project.
In partnership with Facebook, the project SECURE GovNet aims to build the Luzon Bypass Infrastructure, an ultra high-speed information highway that will greatly improve the speed, affordability, and accessibility of broadband internet across the archipelago.
The BCDA will build the Luzon Bypass Infrastructure, consisting of two cable landing stations connected by a 250-km long cable network corridor, which will leverage the geographical advantage of the Philippines by providing a terrestrial bypass route for international submarine cable owners seeking diversity from the Luzon Strait.
“The cable will provide direct connections from Luzon to internet hubs in the United States and Asia,” DICT Officer-in-Charge/Secretary Eliseo Rio Jr. said.
As the first party to utilize the infrastructure, Facebook will construct and operate a submarine cable system that will land in the cable stations on the East and West Coasts of Luzon.
“In exchange for utilizing the bypass infrastructure, Facebook will provide the Philippine Government with spectrum equivalent to at least 2-million megabits per second (Mbps),” Rio said.
This 2-million Mbps (or 2-terabyte per second) capacity, Rio added, is almost equal to the current combined capacity of Globe and Smart-PLDT, making the government virtually a third player in the telecommunications industry.
SECURE GovNet is in line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive to develop a national broadband plan, which will enable the government to significantly reduce internet cost and improve internet speed.
The said project will also facilitate the implementation of the government’s connectivity programs, such as the Free Public Internet Access, the National Government Portal, and other information and communications technology projects of government line agencies and local government units.
Also during the event, DICT OIC/Secretary Rio and BCDA President and Chief Executive Officer Vivencio Dizon, representing the Philippine government, officially sealed the Landing Party Agreement with Facebook’s Sourcing Manager Nico Roehrich.
“We are signing the Agreement with Facebook and BCDA to build the government’s first cable landing stations under the Luzon Bypass Infrastructure Project,” the DICT official said.
“It’s a game changer. It’s going to change the way we communicate in our country, and it’s going to alleviate the daily struggles of people with respect to the internet,” Dizon added.
The event was also graced by Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr., Presidential Adviser for Economic Affairs Ramon Jacinto, Department of Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato Dela Peña, and Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade. (PCO-Content)