Singapore-based HyalRoute Group has partnered with the department of information and communications technology (DICT) in the Philippines, in a move designed to strengthen network connectivity in the country.
Delivered through subsidiary Philippine Fibre Optic Cable Network, total investment is valued at US$1-2 billion over a ten-year period from 2019 onwards, and will form part of DICT’s free public Wi-Fi network aimed at connecting the unserved and underserved areas of the country.
“There is a need for more fibre optic cables in this country, thus this partnership will greatly improve our telecommunication services,” said Eliseo M. Rio Jr, acting secretary of DICT. “We can now have cable networks that anybody can use and this jives with our National Broadband Plan."
The agency will work with HyalRoute on all the necessary permits and licenses for the successful implementation of this initiative, and closely coordinate their efforts to implement the fibre network.
“We believe this investment project will greatly improve the status of communication infrastructure, particularly fibre network, while improving broadband penetration rate and speed to meet the needs of the general public,” said Huang Xinglong, chairman of HyalRoute.
Connecting the unserved and underserved is a major goal of this initiative, however, in a country than spans more than 7,100 islands spread over 300,000 sq-km and with more than 100 million people, that is no easy feat.
The Philippines first connected to the internet in 1994, however, the ICT sector has remained largely undeveloped with current internet usage around 40 per cent of the population.
The use of fibre optic cables will provide for greater bandwidth capacity and will allow for faster speeds with a wider range. The network, once established, will provide for a new shared network infrastructure in the Philippines.
As a business, HyalRoute’s ultimate aim is to provide the first and largest pan-regional, independent, customer-neutral, and shared fibre network platform in the emerging markets of Asia.