DICT urged to address rural connectivity divide in Philippines

DICT urged to address rural connectivity divide in Philippines

Filipino politicians are reportedly advising the country’s Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to ensure that it focuses on delivering connectivity to underserved rural areas rather than boosting access in areas that are already connected.

Open Gov Asia reports that DICT has been urged to “make provisions for the final mile to give more people access to ICT services in the proposed 2022 budget”, with Senator Ralph Recto part of the cohort reminding the government of its pledge to provide “adequate and efficient [internet] services” nationwide by January 2025.

Retco argues that DICT’s goal “should be to support” telecommunication firms seeking to deliver this connectivity rather than competing with them, and that they must focus on unserved areas in order to achieve this target.

According to CommsUpdate, the Philippines’ National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has stated that the optimal number of internet users per cell tower is 500. DICT’s figures show that there are 25,213 macro cell towers and around 127,000 micro cell towers across the Philippines, equating to around 3,500 customers per macro cell tower at any one time. Therefore, a further 150,000 cell towers would be required to attain the ideal ratio of service for the 89 million internet users in the Philippines.

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