THE Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and ComClark Network and Technology Corp. have partnered to provide free digital access to more than 2,000 geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas (GIDA) across the country.
ComClark is the parent company of Converge Information and Communications Technology Solutions Inc.
“The Free Public Internet Access Program, under the Broadband ng Masa Initiative, seeks to bridge the digital divide and connect Filipinos to limitless opportunities the digital economy offers. Our collaboration with ComClark for the UISG (Universal Internet Subscription for GIDA) project exemplifies our dedication to turning this vision into reality,” Information and Technology Secretary Ivan John Uy said.
“Today, we are putting marginalized communities and groups front and center of the digital agenda. We are honored to be in close partnership with the DICT in this nationwide effort to bring connectivity to the farthest reaches of the country,” ComClark Chief Operations Officer Benedicto Bulatao said.
The UISG project will deploy fixed very small aperture terminals (VSATs) or satellite communications, fiber technology and satellite-communications-on-the-move terminals to more than 2,000 areas identified as socially and economically disadvantaged. The project will also aid government agencies and local government units with their connectivity needs during calamities.
Bulatao added that 145 gigabits in bandwidth capacity was allocated for the mixed-technology project.
“It is no secret that the archipelagic and widely varying terrain of the Philippines poses a significant challenge to the provision of internet connectivity to all. This is why the DICT engages with capable and reliable service providers, so everyone gets the best possible service,” DICT Undersecretary Jeffrey Ian Dy said.
For areas with viable geographical terrain, fiber-enabled access points will be established.
As for hilly and mountainous areas, they will be serviced with fixed VSATs, which can be distributed to far-flung and isolated communities nationwide to provide satellite-enabled connectivity.
Moreover, 34 satellite communications on the satellite-on-the-move terminals will also be deployed for the project as well.
The UISG project, through engagements with an assortment of connectivity providers, currently tracks a total of 4,741 active sites in 1,871 locations and provides connectivity across all 17 regions in the Philippines.
The supply of the managed services between DICT and ComClark for the project also involves with We Are IT Philippines Inc. and Telered Technologies and Services Corp.