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Thursday, February 23, 2023

Marcos Administration’s BroadBand ng Masa Program to Boost Wi-Fi Connectivity in PH with 1st Subsea Cable System Project

The administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. is set to speed up the country’s Wi-Fi connectivity as it links up with Converge ICT Solutions Inc., a telecommunication service provider in the Philippines that operates fiber optic broadband networks.

President Marcos met in Malacanang Palace Tuesday Converge founder and CEO Dennis Anthony Uy and proponent partner Thomas Pang Thieng Hwi, CEO and executive director of Keppel Telecommunications and Transportation Inc., where the chief executive was elated on the information that the Philippines will soon have a bigger bandwidth and faster internet connection.

“I just finished a meeting with the Converge group who have tied up with the Keppel group to put in a submarine fiber optic cable from the west coast of the United States; it will connect to the Philippines and it will also connect to Singapore and Indonesia and this will again give us bigger bandwidth,” the President reported.

“This will give us a better communication system when it comes to all the online services that we are using globally,” the chief executive said.


President Marcos said Bifrost Cable System Project, a joint undertaking of Converge and Keppel T&T, would include the Philippines in its fiber optic cable coming from the west coast of the United States.

“So madadagdagan ‘yung ating bandwidth at magiging mas mabilis ‘yung ating internet. Itong usapan na ito ay naging bunga nung pagpunta ko sa Singapore… pinag-usapan namin ito kaya’t ngayon nabuo na at ilalagay nila, isasama nila ang Pilipinas doon sa kanilang mahabang fiber optic na kable na galing sa California, galing sa west coast ng Amerika, hanggang Pilipinas, hanggang Singapore, hanggang Indonesia,” the President explained.

Based on the meeting briefer with Converge and Keppel group, the Bifrost Cable System Project is the world’s first subsea cable system that directly connects Singapore to the west coast of North America, passing through Indonesia, Philippines and Guam.

The multiple fiber-paired, high-performance Bifrost Cable System will also be the largest high-speed transmission cable across the Pacific Ocean, it added.

It said the 15,000-kilometer system, which is expected to be completed in 2024, aims to boost the connectivity of the region’s governments and businesses, including cloud operators, telecommunications operators, network providers, over-the-top providers, data centers, and consumers for a better digital experience.

As of January 2023, the Ookla Speedtest Global Index data showed that the Philippines ranked 82nd out of 142 countries in terms of mobile internet speed and 41st out of 180 countries in terms of fixed broadband media speed.

To date, the national government’s free Wi-Fi program BroadBand ng Masa (BBM), through the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), has established a total of 4,385 operational live sites in 73 provinces and Metro Manila, across 601 cities and municipalities all around the country.

These include those in the geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas (GIDAs) like the provinces of Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi (BaSuLTa), and the Pag-asa Island of the Kalayaan Group of Islands in the province of Palawan.

It has approximately 4 million unique users nationwide.


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