Study for fiber optic project in Davao City underway

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/29 March)—The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is conducting a feasibility study for a fiber optic project here that will allow interoperability among national government agencies and eventually the local government unit (LGU).

The project is part of the e-Government Master Plan program.

In an interview, Engr. Ernie Vargas, a member of the DOST- Information and Communications Technology Office (ICTO), said the project aims to provide every national government office a bandwidth of one gigabyte by September 2014.

The city government would eventually be part of this network, with field studies already being conducted in the downtown area where the national government line agencies are mostly located.

Engr. Albert Gabriel, also a member of DOST-ICTO team, said the project would allow the city’s existing infrastructure to benefit from a faster and lower-costing internet connection, which would improve government transactions, including existing and future online payment systems.

Gabriel said the project would eventually benefit the city government, including the barangay levels.

According to the DOST website, the project would “connect government agencies to a data center, which acts as the medium of communications, traffic controller, server and applications host, and keeper and manager of data.”

“The use of fiber optic cable (FOC) will help people in government communicate faster, coordinate activities better, facilitate collaborative work and increase productivity, resulting in speedier and more efficient delivery of goods and services to citizens,” the agency said.

So far, the Integrated Government Philippines Project has already developed fiber optic backbones in Metro Manila and Cebu, with a data center already set up in Manila.

The data center is equipped with necessary network machines, data storage facilities and systems for cooling, security, power, monitoring and fire protection.

The interconnection of the fiber-to-the-office facility was allotted a P64 million budget in 160 of Manila’s national government agencies, schools, LGUs and hospitals.

Around P5 million has been already allocated for Cebu’s connections.
The DOST said the network “will benefit participating government agencies through lower Internet cost and faster data transfers for government-to-government communications and transactions.”

Expansion plans are also being considered with the help of other government agencies like the Philippine National Railways (PNR), the Department of Transportation and Communications and the Department of Public Works and Highways, the DOST said.

In Luzon, around P400 million worth of fiber optic infrastructure will be rolled out in Pampanga, Cagayan, Albay using the PNR’s right of way.

For Mindanao, an FOC backbone will be set up in the cities of Davao, Butuan, Cagayan de Oro and Zamboanga using the existing infrastructures used by telecommunications offices of national government agencies, the DOST said. (MindaNews)