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NEA, DICT working together to bring broadband connectivity to rural areas

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A farmer sprays pesticide on a rice field as the sun sets in the super Typhoon Haiyan stricken town of Santa Fe, in Leyte province, central Philippines on February 17, 2014. — AFP

The National Electrification Administration (NEA) and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) have started exploring arrangements to bring broadband connectivity into the countryside by tapping the existing infrastructure of the electric cooperatives.

In a statement, NEA Administrator Edgardo R. Masongsong said he had met with officials of DICT headed by Acting Secretary Eliseo M. Rio, Jr. and Undersecretary Denis F. Villorente on expanding broadband access to households in urban areas.

NEA quoted Mr. Rio as saying that the discussion “is very important because NEA has already access to 95% of households, especially in rural areas.”

He added that the ECs supervised by the NEA can be internet service providers (ISPs) in their respective coverage areas.

“We’ll give you the internet access and you can bring it to your client. Then, they can now enjoy their electricity and they have internet access. This is also an added income,” Mr. Rio said.

Mr. Masongsong said the meeting is a welcome development as he expressed the state-run agency’s support for the government’s National Broadband Plan.

“We will support the National Broadband Plan of the government. We will work hand-in-hand and we will take care of the electric cooperatives,” he said. — Victor V. Saulon

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