May 23, 2024

The Department of Information and Communication Technology-Cordillera initiated the planning for a wireless network to connect communities in the region ensuring sustainable Internet connectivity.

“The establishment of a fiber optic network requires strategic planning and tedious efforts to be able to conquer the terrain’s innate drawback,” Engr. Alexander Badua of DICT-Cordillera reported during the recent meeting of the Regional Development Council Sub-Committee on Communications.

As one of few mountainous regions in the country, complete connectivity remains a challenge in the Cordillera.

Badua said the DICT and other regional government agencies continue to find a solution to this.

“The DICT initiated planning for wireless network. It aims to ensure sustainability of internet connectivity by the continuous availability and reliability,” he said.

He said the project aims to accelerate DICT-Cordillera’s intent of providing internet to all municipalities with the application of wireless technology, identify strategic locations for relay sites, and set up integration points for other DICT programs and projects, among others.

The DICT is looking at linking up Mt. Pulag and Mt. Sto. Tomas, which will eventually open possible linkage to other municipalities.

The DICT-Cordillera has an existing relay station at Mt. Santo Tomas in Tuba, Benguet, which is a strategic location for implementing a regional wireless network.

“We can interconnect, install mesh and interconnect different local government units. “‘Pag successful ang Mt. Pulag, ito ang gateway to some parts of Benguet and Ifugao,” he said.

Badua reported the Protected Area Management Board has already issued a resolution approving the proposal of DICT-Cordillera to rehabilitate the tower near the summit of Mount Pulag. However, further talks will be conducted between the DICT and the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines about the project.

The DICT is expected to apply for a special use agreement in protected areas, which will be the binding tenurial instrument between the agency and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources relative to the use or development of land, resources, or facilities within the protected area.

Free, prior, and informed consent will also be sought from the concerned indigenous people’s community.

As the DICT endeavors to connect communities in the region, it continues to engage and coordinate with LGUs, government agencies, and the private sector for possible partnerships and collaborations. – Debbie E. Gasingan