Philippine Government Partners with Facebook For Faster Internet via Luzon Bypass Infrastructure

Earlier today - November 15, 2017 - I received an amazing message from the Presidential Communications Operations Office about the Duterte Administration's latest venture to greatly improve the internet speeds in our country.

According to PCOO, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) has just launched a landmark project called Luzon Bypass Infrastructure, with Facebook slated as the first party to utilize the infrastructure.

The project entails build an ultra high speed information highway that will greatly improve the speed, affordability, and accessibility of broadband Internet throughout the entire Philippines.

It is expected to be online at the end of 2019.

BCDA will build the Luzon Bypass Infrastructure, consisting of two cable landing stations connected by a 250-km long cable network corridor. The Luzon Bypass Infrastructure leverages the geographical advantage of the Philippines by providing a terrestrial bypass route for international submarine cable owners seeking diversity from the Luzon Strait, which has a history of multiple simultaneous submarine cable breaks.

As the first party to utilize the Luzon Bypass Infrastructure, Facebook will construct and operate a submarine cable system that will land in the cable stations on the East and West Coasts of Luzon. The cable will provide direct connections from Luzon to Internet hubs in the United States and Asia.

DICT, will operate the Luzon Bypass Infrastructure, maintain the related facilities and provide last mile connectivity in the Philippines.

In exchange for utilizing the bypass infrastructure, FB will provide the Philippine Government with spectrum equivalent to at least 2 million Mbps, significantly expanding the capacity available for the Government’s connectivity programs.

Ultra High Speed Internet Connectivity

As various research studies have shown, the Philippines is currently one of the slowest and most expensive Internet markets in the world. This new broadband infrastructure aims to dramatically improve Internet speed and increase availability throughout the country to support the DICT’s flagship programs to deliver free WiFi access in public places nationwide as well as online government services including for education and health.

Properties under the stewardship of BCDA, such as Clark and New Clark City, are areas that stand to benefit greatly from this project. New Clark City will be the country's first smart, green and disaster-resilient metropolis that is envisioned to be one of the most liveable cities in the region.

Faster and cheaper Internet is among the bold solutions being pushed by the present administration as part of the 0+10 point agenda of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, which details priority programs to alleviate poverty, spur inclusive growth and development, and create jobs throughout the country.

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