Converge supports ‘Dig Once’ policy to reduce cost of digital infra roll-out

By: Converge Admin | 04 Oct 2022

Leading fiber broadband provider Converge ICT Solutions Inc. is backing the idea of multi-stakeholder coordination – among government, ICT players, and utility companies – to make sure telecommunications infrastructure is already installed whenever new road infrastructure is built.

Converge Chief Operations Officer (COO) Jesus C. Romero supported this ‘joint use’ mechanism whereby the government can install underground pipes for telecommunication cables whenever there is public works construction, especially for new road laying projects.

The cost of installation of the conduits can be shared by the telcos or ISPs – such an option will mean cost savings for the ICT providers, and ensure there won’t be multiple trench-diggings.

“This can be done in expressways linking parts of the metro together. Submarine cables are expensive. We could do with a lot more diversity and connectivity. This joint use of infrastructure will go a long way. As an ISP, we’re willing to pay for our share [of the cost],” said Romero, during the forum organized by the US Agency for International Development –  Better Access to Connectivity (USAID-BEACON) entitled “Improving Broadband Internet Connectivity in Cities and LGUs”, held recently.

A “dig once” policy in place will translate to lower capital costs for the internet service provider, which in turn will widen access to the broadband infrastructure, especially to rural communities.

In pursuing this policy, cooperation among the national government agencies such as the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), local government units (LGUs), and private sector operators is critical as the digital infrastructure deployment has to be aligned with public works plans.

“Our backbone nationwide, most of it is underground, but there are still places where we have aerial cables because of the old design of the houses. We should encourage regulators and lawmakers to come up with directions to push for underground cabling because we are a typhoon-ravaged country,” added Dennis Anthony Uy, Converge CEO and Co-Founder, in a separate event.

Another policy move that can be considered where underground cables are not feasible, is infrastructure sharing. This entails the shared use of open, neutral, and affordable facilities among telecom companies, which includes utility poles. A Common Pole policy can further reduce the cost of network deployment, said Uy.

The USAID-BEACON project aims to promote economic growth through better information and communications technology (ICT) and help bridge the digital divide in the Philippines.

Joining Converge COO Romero onstage during the panel discussion, were representatives from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) , Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), Public Private Partnership (PPP) Center, and Landbank of the Philippines. The said panel tackled how to finance better internet for city governments and encourage inclusive and expanded investment in broadband internet.

To know more about Converge, go to convergeict.com.

Chief Operations Officer Jesus C. Romero elaborates on how the Converge network is reaching more and more unserved and underserved Filipinos in the countryside, with the help of government incentives. 

Stakeholders from government, ICT, and banking converge in a panel discussion on financing better internet for cities at the USAID-BEACON forum, “Improving Broadband Internet Connectivity in Cities and LGUs”. 

From Left: DILG Director Anna Liza Bonagua, Assistant Secretary Tess Camba, DICT Assistant Secretary Philip Varilla, Converge Chief Operations Officer Jesus C. Romero, PPP Director Eleazar Ricote, Chief of Digital Development – Asian Development Bank Thomas Abell, Landbank Senior Vice President Elcid Pangilinan, and panel moderator, Dean of Ateneo School of Management Roberto Galang.

 

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ABOUT CONVERGE ICT SOLUTIONS, INC.

Converge Information and Communications Technology Solutions, Inc. (PSE:CNVRG) is the fastest-growing fixed broadband service provider in the Philippines. It is the first to run an end-to-end pure fiber internet network in the country, providing Filipinos simple, fast, and reliable connectivity. Aside from broadband services, Converge also offers integrated data center and network solutions services.

With over 563,000 kilometers of fiber optic assets nationwide, it has one of the most extensive fiber networks in the Philippines.

With this fiber-powered network, Converge provides premium world-class digital experience for residential, enterprise, and wholesale customers. Converge is ISO 9001 and CE2.0 Certified.

Go to https://www.convergeict.com for more information.

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