DICT adopts CHIP framework to improve internet access in PH

Philippine News Agency
February 23, 2021

MANILA – The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has adopted a new conceptual framework to improve internet speed in country, a Palace official said Tuesday.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the DICT adopted the “Connect, Harness, Innovate, and Protect” or CHIP conceptual framework during a Cabinet meeting presided over by President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night.

“Government recognizes that there are existing challenges in our efforts to connect with our people. This is due to several factors: a 1 tower to 4,000 households’ ratio; the minimal use of poles/microtowers and in-building solutions in CBDs (Central Business Districts); the low number of towers, fiber, backhaul, and fiber network; and inadequate investment in connectivity in Missionary Areas. In this regard, the DICT has adopted the CHIP conceptual framework in order to address these concerns,” he said in a virtual presser.

Following the CHIP framework and ongoing DICT efforts, Nograles said the government expects an average of 5,000 towers per year to be built over the next three years.

“Government also plans to continue fast-tracking program and projects such as the National Broadband Program (NBP), the Free Wi-Fi for all program, and the National Government Data Center,” he added.

Nograles said the Cabinet also approved the following:

-- Issue a joint memorandum circular for fiber, common poles, and in-building solutions for national compliance;

-- To provide provisional approval for Right of Way (ROW) for DICT infrastructure projects, specifically NBP Phase 1 and Luzon Bypass Infrastructure (LBI);

-- Allow telecommunication companies (telcos) to continue work during emergencies;

-- Issue a memorandum circular to effect separate health protocols for telco manpower;

-- Consider power capacity requirements of telcos and/or Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure;

-- Issue a regulation for a fixed table of regulatory fees imposed by local government units (LGUs) on ICT infrastructure/Issue regulations on a standard fee for telcos to install and repair at the barangay-level;

-- Urge LGUs to fast-track issuance of Certificate of Final Electrical Inspection (CFEI);

-- Urge LGUs to streamline requirements and procedures for shorter turnaround time in processing permits.

Apart from these measures, he said efforts are actually already underway to ensure improved access to the internet such as easing regulatory burdens through progressive regulations and policies, such as the entry of a third telco and issuance of a JMC on tower permits, and initiatives to spur growth and expansion through catalytic programs and projects.

“The ultimate objective is to connect the Filipino people, and to provide the means for our kababayan (countrymen) to not just survive, but thrive in the digital age,” he said.

The Philippines’ mobile internet speed climbed from 111th to 86th in January 2021 from the same period last year, according to a report obtained from global internet testing leader Ookla.

The latest data showed that the Philippines' ranking in terms of mobile internet speeds is up by 10 spots from December, even beating Russia, Malaysia, Peru and Jordan. (PNA)

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