BSP: Satellite broadband internet to boost financial inclusion
A new order by President Duterte allowing more entities to provide broadband internet services using satellite technology will allow Filipinos even in far-flung communities greater access to financial services that are currently denied by poor telecommunications infrastructure.
Thus said Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin Diokno who, as the chair of the government’s interagency Financial Inclusion Steering Committee (FISC), welcomed last week’s signing of Executive Order No. 127 on “Expanding the Provision of Internet Services through Inclusive Access to Satellite Services.”
“This will be a big push for financial inclusion toward a more resilient and truly inclusive digitally enabled new economy,” said Diokno, who has been at the forefront of the central bank’s push to draw more Filipinos into the formal financial system with the aid of technology.
The new proclamation amends Executive Order No. 467 of 1998, thereby allowing not only enfranchised telecommunication entities, but also the nonenfranchised but duly registered internet service providers and value added service providers to directly access all satellite systems to build and operate broadband facilities to offer internet services. By promoting greater competition and investment in the country’s satellite broadband services market, Executive Order No. 127 can bridge the massive internet infrastructure gaps in rural communities within a short time.
Satellite technology represents instant and readily deployable broadband infrastructure suitable for these areas that are largely unserved by incumbents.
The whole country can be connected swiftly as more market players, especially those positioned to serve their local communities, will be able to directly access any of the fourteen high throughput satellites covering the country to provide broadband services.
Late last year, the FISC, the 20-agency group tasked to drive the implementation of the National Strategy for Financial Inclusion, endorsed the executive order to the Office of the President as an urgent policy reform.
Internet connectivity is a critical enabler of financial and economic inclusion as transactions and services increasingly move online. Banks and other financial service providers will be able to better serve rural areas with more access points, such as automated teller machines and cash agent services that rely on internet connectivity. In combination with the roll out of the Philippine National Identification System and its electronic know-your-customer facility, greater internet access will allow more unbanked rural clients and low-income communities to use digital financial services and meaningfully benefit from digital innovations. INQ
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