Beneco inks broad­band agree­ment

Sun.Star Baguio - - Front Page - Jonathan Llanes Sun*Star Re­porter

NA­TIONAL Trans­mis­sion Cor­po­ra­tion (NTC), Depart­ment of In­for­ma­tion and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Tech­nol­ogy (DICT) and Benguet Elec­tric Co­op­er­a­tive (Beneco) have for­mally signed a tri­par­tite agree­ment which will pi­lot the Na­tional Broad­band Plan in the coun­tries sum­mer cap­i­tal and the prov­ince of Benguet.

In the Mem­o­ran­dum of Agree­ment sign­ing at the Du­mol Hall of

Beneco in Baguio City, Beneco gen­eral man­ager Ger­ardo Ver­soza ex­plained this as a re­sult of the co­op­er­a­tives ef­forts to in­clude in its elec­tric sys­tem the pro­vi­sions for in­ter­net ser­vices through the lay­ing of its fiber op­tic lines.

“While the goal in the use of fiber op­tic ca­ble and wire­less tech­nol­ogy ini­tially re­volves around ef­fi­cient en­ergy dis­tri­bu­tion and con­sumer sat­is­fac­tion, never had we for seen that this in­fra­struc­ture could be uti­lized to a greater and bet­ter pur­pose all for the ben­e­fit of the com­mon good spe­cially for those liv­ing in the ru­ral ar­eas who are now en­joy­ing elec­tric ser­vice,” Ver­soza said.

The mem­o­ran­dum of agree­ment aims to en­sure widespread avail­abil­ity of high-speed and af­ford­able broad­band in re­mote and ru­ral ar­eas of the coun­try through the elec­tric co­op­er­a­tives.

The tri­par­tite agree­ments with DICT and Beneco is to roll out a pi­lot na­tional broad­band net­work (NBN) project in Baguio for gov­ern­ment agen­cies and in­ter­net ser­vice.

“Ad­mit­tedly, I per­son­ally failed to imag­ine and an­tic­i­pate that like elec­tric­ity, the in­ter­net would be con­sid­ered as a need as we know in a highly tech­no­log­i­cal so­ci­ety cou­pled with smart gad­gets and a fast phased life­style, the in­ter­net has evolved into more than a need than a lux­ury to­day. And I never thought that Beneco will have the chance to play a part in this elab­o­rate spec­ta­cle,” Ver­soza stated.

DICT, TransCo and Na­tional Grid Cor­po­ra­tion of the Philip­pines ear­lier signed a tri­par­tite agree­ment for the use of spare op­ti­cal fiber to speed up the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the gov­ern­ment’s NBN.

NGCP op­er­ates the coun­try’s trans­mis­sion net­work un­der its con­ces­sion agree­ment with the gov­ern­ment, while TransCo owns the “dark fiber’ as­set.

The agree­ment en­abled the gov­ern­ment to save around P50 bil­lion by us­ing the dark fiber as­sets of TransCo.

The agree­ment was ini­tially for the roll­out to gov­ern­ment of­fices and agen­cies and other pub­lic places, but a sep­a­rate agree­ment with the Na­tional Elec­tri­fi­ca­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion and the elec­tric co­op­er­a­tives would bring con­nec­tiv­ity to the house­holds.

Beneco is now in the fi­nal stage of lay­ing down 1000 au­to­mated me­ter read­ers (AMR) for the first big­gest 1000 load­ers in the city which con­sists of 30 per­cent of its to­tal sales.

“We are ini­tially hum­bled by this col­lab­o­ra­tion with the DICT and the NTC, we are very thank­ful that we have been given the op­por­tu­nity to be of ser­vice first by de­liv­er­ing elec­tric ser­vice, and sec­ond is for Beneco to hope­fully be a last mile pro­vide even­tu­ally for in­ter­net ser­vice in the Barangays in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Na­tional Broad­band Project of the gov­ern­ment,” Ver­soza added.

The DICT, NEA and the elec­tric co­op­er­a­tives pre­vi­ously signed a mem­o­ran­dum of agree­ment for the “last mile” of the gov­ern­ment’s NBN project aimed at im­prov­ing the in­ter­net ac­cess in the coun­try.

DICT, NEA and the Philip­pine Ru­ral Elec­tric Co­op­er­a­tives As­so­ci­a­tion Inc. for­mal­ized the tri­par­tite col­lab­o­ra­tion “to re­al­ize the ob­jec­tives of the NBP, in­clud­ing but not lim­ited to the couse of fiber op­tic ca­bles.”

Un­der the agree­ment, NEA and Philreca will co­or­di­nate with the ECs re­gard­ing the NBP project. The DICT, on the other hand, will be al­lowed to con­nect or ac­cess the elec­tric co-op’s ex­ist­ing nodes to link with other gov­ern­ment agen­cies.

Photo by Jean Ni­cole Cortes

FASTER IN­TER­NET. Benguet Elec­tric Co­op­er­a­tive (BENECO) gen­eral man­ager Ger­ardo Ver­soza (cen­ter) signs the mem­o­ran­dum of agree­ment with the Depart­ment of In­for­ma­tion and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Tech­nol­ogy (DICT), and Na­tional Trans­mis­sion (Transco) for a faster in­ter­net con­nec­tion and free wifi in pub­lic spa­ces in Baguio City as Beneco board pres­i­dent Rocky Alip­ing (left) looks on.

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