DICT counts on Starlink, LGUs to help address rural internet woes
With the expected commercial launch soon of Elon Musk’s Starlink Internet Services Philippines Inc., the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT) aims to start deploying satellite technology in far-flung areas by the first quarter of next year..
This will make internet connectivity more accessible to people in the rural areas.
Information and Communication Technology Secretary , in a press briefing on Wednesday, said they would work with local government units in setting up the needed infrastructure to roll out the technology.
The budget for this initiative is being studied by the department to ensure that the satellite-based connectivity would be offered for free, he said. A Starlink satellite dish costs $599 while monthly subscription is at $99.
“We very well know that those areas, because of their remoteness and because they are on the sadder end of the digital divide, cannot afford technology such as this. The government will have to come in,” he said.
Rebecca Hunter, an official of SpaceX, said its unit, Starlink, aims to start offering internet services in the country by the end of the year.
In May, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) approved the application of Starlink as a satellite internet service provider.
“We really can make a lot of positive changes, positive impact in the Philippines,” Hunter said.
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