The Philippine Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) held a public consultation with Satellite Systems Providers or Operators (SSPOs) on May 26, 2022, at the Manila Polo Club in Makati, urging SSPOs to intensify their corporate presence in the country and be part of the digital transformation being pushed forward by the Department.
The DICT plans to foster an enabling environment for SSPOs and support them with policies that will safeguard them so they can help in accelerating the Philippines’ digital transformation. One particular initiative that the DICT will utilize is an online submission platform where applicants can conveniently submit their requirements. The Department’s streamlining initiatives are prescribed and guided by DICT Department Circular No. 001 that rationalizes, streamlines, and liberalizes the registration, regulation, and monitoring of qualified SSPOs, which will quicken the pace of their participation.
Notably, a few days after the public consultation was held, the DICT through its attached agency, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), gave an official approval to tech visionary Elon Musk’s Starlink, allowing the satellite internet provider to begin offering its services in the country.
This will make the Philippines the first country in South East Asia to enjoy the services of Starlink broadband service, which provides a low-Earth orbit satellite system designed to deliver broadband internet connectivity with speeds between 100 to 200 Megabits per second (Mbps), especially in Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged (GIDA) areas, where laying fiber cables is difficult.
Satellite connectivity is highly suitable for the Philippines as the country’s ICT infrastructures are vulnerable to natural disasters, and its more than 7,000 islands mean there are many GIDA areas.
(Sources: Department of Information and Communications; Philippine Information Agency)