Senator Manuel “Lito” Lapid has filed a bill known as “Internet Infrastructure Integration Act.” This measure proposes to integrate the construction of internet infrastructures in all government road infrastructure projects in order to use the same rights-of-way and reduce unnecessary and repeated excavations for the laying down of cables, wires and similar facilities.
Senate Bill 1990 wants to establish the Internet Infrastructure Integration program in the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH). This program is designed to reduce the cost and accelerate the deployment of internet connectivity by minimizing the number and scale of repeated excavations and for the maintenance of internet infrastructure in rights-of-way.
“Batid natin ang kahalagahan ng internet lalo sa mga panahong ito. Sa halos lahat ng sektor ay mahalagang may internet connectivity ang ating mga kababayan lalo sa aspeto ng edukasyon, negosyo, komunikasyon at sa maraming uri ng trabaho. Dapat lang na ang ating gobyerno ay manguna sa pagbuo ng polisiya at mga paraan para masiguro na mas magiging madali ang access ng ating mga kababayan sa internet sa pamamagitan ng pagtatayo ng maraming imprastuktura,” Lapid explains.
Under the bill, the DPWH is mandated to identify existing and planned road infrastructure projects such as, but not limited to, farm-to-market roads, local and national roads, bridges, road widening and road maintenance which can be utilized for the inclusion or integration of internet infrastructure such as fiber-optic cable installation using the same rights-of-way.
Senator Lapid envisions this program as an efficient and cost-saving way of providing internet connectivity particularly to unserved and underserved areas. Through the integration of internet infrastructure, installation may happen simultaneous or side-by-side with the road construction of the DPWH.
To encourage private sector participation, the DPWH in coordination with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), shall establish a system for the notification, coordination and participation of broadband providers, internet service providers and telecommunication companies in this program. The coordination will subject to the payment of reasonable fees and other terms and conditions that the DPWH deems necessary and appropriate.
“Sa pamamagitan ng isinusulong nating Internet Infrastructure Integration Act ay masisiguro natin na bukod sa mga mga kalsada na bubuuin sa pangunguna ng ating gobyerno, kasabay nito ang pagtatayo din ng mga daan o highway para sa internet connectivity sa ating bansa. Sa pamamagitan din nito, hindi na mahuhuli sa tinatawag na digital age ang Pilipinas,” Lapid adds.