TransCo wants participation in National Broadband Program

MANILA, Philippines – As the owner of the country’s power grid, the National Transmission Corp. (TransCo) should be part of the agreement to use the fiber optics network of the transmission line under the government’s national broadband program, its top official said.

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) cannot implement the agreement without TransCo, TransCo president and CEO Melvin Matibag said.

 “It’s just for purposes of putting everything in proper perspective,” he said. “It could be a tripartite. DICT as the one advocating for the national broadband program, TransCo as the owner and NGCP being the concessionaire.”

In a letter to DICT Secretary Rodolfo Salalima, Matibag expressed TransCo’s cooperation in the immediate implementation of the national broadband plan.

He said NGCP has an agreement with government to operate the country’s power grid and has 15 years left in its concession.

 “As such, TransCo must be included as a party in the negotiation and execution of any agreement involving the use of the transmission assets,” Matibag said.

Last month, NGCP submitted a draft memorandum of understanding (MOU) to DICT for the implementation of the national broadband plan.

NGCP president and CEO Henry Sy Jr. earlier said the grid operator is fully supportive of the program and would soon formalize its deal with the DICT.

The agency earlier said the amount of investment needed for the national broadband program may go down as NGCP expressed willingness to allow the government to use the existing fiber optics network in the transmission grid for its implementation.

NGCP’s fiber optic cables covering 6,154 kilometers will form the primary network of the national broadband program to bring WiFi connection in the country.

The unused portion of the cables will help ease the infrastructure burden faced by DICT as it can piggyback on NGCP’s existing network.

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