The Philippines is set to boost its digital connectivity with the rest of the world through a new partnership with Japan’s telecom giant IPS Inc.
The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) reported that IPS Inc has committed to invest an additional USD 100 million or PHP 5.6 billion in the country from 2023 to 2024. The investment will expand the capacity of a modern and secure gateway for the Philippines to access the global internet via Japan.
DICT Secretary Ivan John D Uy and IPS Chief Executive Officer Koji Miyashita signed a Memorandum of Support for the project in Tokyo last Aug. 25. Uy said that the project will also ensure unhampered data connectivity via the Eastern Seaboard, away from the highly contested South China Sea.
The project is part of the country’s Digital Transformation Strategy, which aims to leverage technology for inclusive growth and progress. CICC Executive Director Alexander K. Ramos, who was also present at the signing ceremony, welcomed the partnership with IPS and its affiliate in the Philippines, InfiniVAN Inc.
“The investment aligns seamlessly with the country’s Digital Transformation Strategy, which seeks to leverage technology for inclusive growth and progress,” Ramos said.
InfiniVAN, which operates a fiber optic network in Metro Manila, also offered another estimated investment of PHP 4 billion under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement with the DICT. The proposal, which is now being considered by the DICT, would fast-track the deployment and connectivity of the National Broadband Plan, also known as the Broadband ng Masa Program (BBMP).
Under the proposal, InfiniVAN would acquire dark fiber pairs on the Infinivan-led Philippine Domestic Submarine Cable Network (PDSCN), which covers a distance of 2,700 kilometers of fiber optic cable linking Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao with 26 new landing points. InfiniVAN would also secure dark fiber-based capacities on international submarine cable systems that have touch points in major hubs such as Singapore, Taiwan, Japan, U.S., and Europe with landing points in the Philippines.
Subsea cable links are vital for the global internet, as they carry most of the data traffic across continents and oceans. It can improve the reliability of internet connection as well as reduce the cost of subscriptions.
Image caption: DICT Secretary Atty. John Ivan Uy and Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center (CICC) Executive Director Alexander K. Ramos signed in Tokyo a memorandum of agreement with Japan-based IPS,Inc. Chief Executive Officer and President Koji Miyashita, InfiniVAN Director Shikegi Nakahara, and InfiniVAN Chief Operating Officer Engr. Edgardo A. Opulencia.