Despite the recent announcement that the President has ordered the NBN Project to be suspended and that there are pending cases in the Ombudsman and the Supreme Court on the matter, the topic of creating a separate network for the government has drawn split impressions from people in the IT industry.
First, it would seem that the $329 million project is too costly. From copies of the contract made available to the public, that amount is divided in several ways — $194M for equipments of 300 base stations (WiMAX), 300 backbone stations, 30 IPMPLS nodes and 24,844 customer premise equipment; $118.6M for Engineering Services; $14.8M for Managed Services; and $1.9M for Training.
Second, the fact that there are already existing government controlled backbones pre-existing before this proposal, one of them is the DOST ASTI’s PREGINET.
Third, counter-arguments that the Philippines does not need any more private backbone and existing needs can be address by private telcos. PLDT and Globe have voiced out that they’ve not been given any opportunity to implement this project and stated that they each now have 98% coverage of the Philippines (population-based, not area-based).
Then, senators claiming existing mobile coverage is good enough (Mar Roxas) or that their residential DSL charges are already cheap (Noynoy Aquino) which makes the NBN Project all that redundant.
It’s also interesting to note that the idea of the National Broadband Network and the CyberEd Projects were conceptualized way back in 2001 by now retired Col. Victor Corpuz. I believe that the idea makes sense even though the cost may seem too expensive for the immediate benefits it may offer. The bigger benefits will be realized in the coming years where annual IT service cost are reduced by billions.
I’d like some of our expert readers to share their view on this. I will be guesting on ANC’s The Explainer on Tuesday to shed some light on the NBN Project. I hope to use some of your technical inputs on this.