In a move that sees the 2021 budget for the National Broadband Program (NBP) jumping to a higher value, the Philippine Congress signed the General Appropriations Bill last Wednesday, December 9, augmenting the fund to Php 1.9 billion from the previous Php 902 million for its initial phase.

Originally a lumpsum of Php956 million, following the Senate and House of Representatives’ decision for a massive cut to what could be a Php5 billion budget, Senator Panfilo Lacson argued the fund to be way below the asking budget of Php18 billion by Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).

Through the NBP, the DICT claims that the government will gain access to a cheaper and reliable internet, one that could see government spending significantly reduced over internet subscription.


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At the rate of Php350 per Megabits per second (Mbps) of Internet bandwidth per month, the Philippine government spends at least Php35,000 per month for a 100Mbps connection or around Php420,000 annually. DICT stresses that, with NBP, the government would see spending of only Php5,000 per month or Php60,000 per year over the same connectivity speed.

Going further, DICT anticipates a reduced cost of Php720 million in the first year alone or Php34 billion across five years once NBP sees full implementation.

Supporting the budget increase is Senator Angara who stated that the amended funding comes on top of the budget for the rollout of free public Wi-Fi of DICT.

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