DOST releases TOR for web project in low class towns

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/08 March) — The Department of Science and Technology released Saturday the terms of reference (TOR) for its internet connectivity project using television white space technology in third- to sixth-class municipalities across the country.

The release of the TOR paves the way for the bidding process with the DOST, according to DOST Secretary Mario Montejo in a press conference in Davao City last week.

Soliman Domingo, DOST assistant regional director for technical support services, said last week that the DOST Information and Communications Technology Office was just waiting for the TOR so it can start the project this year.

According to a copy of the TOR, the project aims to provide internet connection to the municipalities all over the Philippines through infrastructure to be installed in public elementary and high schools.

Montejo said the DOST will install the facilities simultaneously, with the only requirement being that the area should be a low-income municipality.

The project, which has a budget of P1.408 billion, is in line with the “Internet For All” thrust identified in the Philippine Digital Strategy 2011-2016, the DOST document said.

The same document said the original budget was only P339 million.

Aside from public schools, libraries, government hospitals and rural health centers, 748 identified plazas or public centers will also be covered by the project.

“Once fully deployed, the Project will serve 105,000 concurrent users with 256 kbps each, which is the lowest prevailing speed requirement for ‘broadband’ service. A data volume based Fair Usage Policy shall also be implemented to promote an equitable distribution of the public service,” the DOST said.

The program aims to use television static as a distribution point for internet access.

Montejo said the program would allow up to 50 people at a time to use wi-fi connection in a given public space. (MindaNews)