Philippines' Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has unveiled a PHP 50-billion (USD 960 million) spending plan for the next three years, with a focus on improving the country’s digital infrastructure.
DICT Acting Secretary Emmanuel Rey “Manny” R. Caintic said that the majority of the funds will be spent on the National Fibre Backbone and the Accelerated Fibre Build through regional and provincial rings.
“While we have come a long way in terms of Internet speeds during this administration, a lot more remains to be done to achieve nationwide connectivity. Digital infrastructure is the only way to go if we want to improve the internet connectivity in our country. There are still a lot of underserved and unserved areas. Digital infrastructure investments can change that,” Emmanuel said.
In a virtual press briefing, he said projects in the pipeline have to continue in the next administration to further improve internet services in the country.
As of February 2022, there are 79.66 million internet users in the Philippines and a 72.7% Internet user penetration rate according to Statista.com with a median download speed of 18.79 megabits per second (Mbps) for mobile internet and 49.10 Mbps for fixed broadband according to Ookla Speedtest.
“The DICT supports the digitalisation of the country’s government, industries, and communities by establishing our equivalent Build programmes for the National Digital Infrastructure to provide quality, affordable, and extensive connectivity for Filipinos in line with President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s Build, Build, Build programme and address the relatively slow Internet speeds in the country due to lack of fibre and cell towers in the country,” he stated.