by: Erwin Beleo
Under the leadership of Mayor Hermenegildo "Dong" Gualberto, the City Government of San Fernando signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) last December 5, 2017 for the construction of high speed broadband infrastructure along the seawaters of the City.
San Fernando was confirmed as one of the only two landing stations of this transformative project alongside Baler, Aurora.
This government initiative is called the Luzon Bypass Infrastructure Project, the first of its kind which aims to lower the cost of government Internet connectivity while providing an ultra-speed Internet backbone for the whole country by 2019. This will also support the “Free Public Wi-Fi Project” and other DICT projects, plans and initiatives for the long term.
DICT partners with the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) which is “in charge for the construction of the Luzon Bypass Corridor, composed of two cable landing stations connected by a 250-km cable network corridor, while Facebook, the ‘first party’ to use the government-built facility, was tasked to build and operate a submarine cable system that will land on Luzon's east and west coasts,” a statement from the department explains.
BCDA is also responsible for the operation, maintenance and security of the project completion by the following: construction of concrete pipe separator, beach manhole, where both location in Barangay Canoay; Construction of cable landing station in Poro Point inside BCDA’s property; Installation of submarine cables from beach manhole up to the territorial waters spanning about 68-kms with 37 nautical miles; And construction of underground conduits along public roads under jurisdiction six barangays, such as San Agustin spanning 0.157 kilometers; Madayegdeg spanning 0.628 kilometers; Parian spanning 1.004 kilometers; San Vicente spanning 1.204 kilometers; Pagdalagan spanning 1.007 kilometers; Pagudpud spanning 0.186 kilometers.
The said cable system will connect Luzon to the internet systems in the US and Hong Kong.
Moreover, this bypass infrastructure will allow Facebook to provide the Philippine government with spectrum equivalent to 2 million Mbps. This project was in line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s promise to improve internet connection in the Philippines, which is among the slowest in the world.
Approximately, the initial phase of the project (fiber optics ground laying) will take two years to finish while the operation and maintenance of the project will cover fifty years according to DICT.