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PCCI satellite connectivity project close to launch

THE Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) said it will soon launch the first phase of its satellite connectivity project serving remote areas of the Philippines.

In a statement on Tuesday, the PCCI said Perry A. Ferrer, its director for Innovation and Digital Economy and Science and Technology briefed Information and Communications Secretary Ivan John E. Uy on Aug. 12 that the project hopes to establish proof of concept for satellite connectivity.

The PCCI did not specify a date for the actual launch.

“Phase 1 of the proof of concept project will set up internet via satellite in six geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas (GIDAs), divided equally among the three main islands of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao,” the PCCI said.

The six pilot areas were not disclosed.

Phase two will involve the tasking of a satellite specifically for the Philippines.

Mr. Uy said the current fiber backbone is only good for urban areas, but is inefficient in the islands.

Mr. Uy touted the benefits of connectivity for education, adding that the Department of Information and Communications Technology is working with the Department of Education to develop online learning modules.

Mr. Uy cited the need to promote online banking for rural areas, and to set up online marketplaces servicing small businesses.

PCCI President George T. Barcelon said the organization is “looking at enabling satellite connectivity to ensure that government services and social services such as education, healthcare and skills training will effectively reach the unserved and underserved areas, while also facilitating economic activity in these areas.” — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave