Bill filed promoting use and development of satellite tech for better internet
Senator Win Gatchalian recently filed a bill that raises the need to develop satellite-based technologies to improve internet access.
The senator filed Senate Bill No. 2250 or the “Satellite-Based Technologies for Internet Connectivity Act of 2021,” which is an act that encourages and promotes the use and development of satellite-based technologies for internet connectivity.
Under the bill, the State will “promote broad and inclusive access to satellite technology for reliable and affordable internet services, which is crucial for stimulating economic growth, providing opportunities for decent employment in the countryside, and improving educational results.”
Also, the state shall “liberalize access to satellite-based services and hasten the expansion of broadband infrastructure, especially in places unserved or underserved by conventional wired and cellular mobile networks, and bring reliable internet service to all Filipinos anywhere in the country.
The bill also mandates the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to expand access to satellite-based technologies as an alternative connectivity solution to ensure universal access to the internet.
It will exercise regulatory and administrative jurisdiction over ISPs and satellite policies, pursue policies to secure necessary orbital slots for PH satellites, and identify areas that are underserved and unserved by traditional broadband network operators and where the use of satellite-based internet can be maximized, to name a few.
Gatchalian said that the use of digital technologies in the country is still below its potential with 45% of Filipinos and 74% of public schools nationwide remain unconnected. The situation is far worse in the Visayas and Mindanao where there’s less than 40% of internet usage.
“Ang problema natin, bukod sa kulang sa imprastraktura, limitado pa rin ang bilang ng mga nagbibigay serbisyo pagdating sa internet connection. Kaya kahit na sabihin pang bumibilis na ang internet sa ilang mga siyudad, hindi pa rin ramdam lalo na sa mga liblib na probinsya na walang cell sites o towers,” Gatchalian said.
“Improving internet access in the country will spur investments in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector and expand the digital infrastructure that will ensure universal access to the internet, especially in critical areas such as e-government and the delivery of basic services, education, health, trade, finance, disaster preparedness, and public safety, he concluded.