9 Mar 2017
Filipino president Rodrigo Duterte has formally approved the National Broadband Plan (NBP) at the 13th Cabinet Meeting in Malacanang on 6 March 2017, according to a Facebook announcement by Emmanuel Pinol, Secretary of the Philippine Department of Agriculture. The NBP, which is intended to extend the reach and access speeds by accelerating the rollout of fixed (e.g. fibre-optic) and wireless broadband technologies, was unveiled by the President in 2016. Then in November, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) opened a public consultation with interested parties in the public and private sectors, with the long term objective of developing a joined up national infrastructure that is ‘open, pervasive, inclusive, affordable, and trusted’, while simultaneously increasing internet penetration, especially in remote and far-flung areas, and stimulate economic growth through the digital empowerment of the people. The DICT published a working draft of the NBP on its website recently, and is inviting input and comments until 24 March 2017.