NGCP ties up with DICT for PHL’s broadband program

THE National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) are currently coordinating for a project partnership involving the use of transmission facilities for the country’s broadband program. As the country’s sole power-transmission operator, the NGCP has existing fiber-optic facilities that run across all three grids in Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao. This fiber-optic network is used primarily for internal communication purposes, particularly to enable real-time communication among its facilities, and with generators for and distribution utilities.

The company has stated its support, through the leasing of the unused portions of its fiber-optic lines, for government efforts to upgrade the country’s Internet speed and shorten the amount of time needed to complete the project. Last week the DICT visited the NGCP’s Dasmari?as Substation, following previous coordination meetings in support of the national broadband program. Information Undersecretary Denis Villorente and other DICT officials were given a tour of the NGCP’s Dasmari?as substation by NGCP Chief Administrative Officer Anthony Almeda.

“The NGCP is pleased to welcome the DICT to its Dasmari?as Substation, as we are eager to showcase the availability of our facilities and push this initiative of bringing high-speed internet nationwide. The NGCP’s wide fiber optic network and related resources are ready to support this priority program under President Duterte’s administration. We are confident that with these continuing talks, we can look forward to the program’s expedited implementation,” the NGCP said.

The NGCP said the spare capacity in the NGCP’s fiber-optic lines may only support part of the broadband network. “Given that the lines’ primary function is for the communication between power-transmission facilities, only the unused portions are available to government or third parties, and may support only part of the national broadband network at the scale and magnitude contemplated by the government. “It may not have the telecommunications-grade redundancies and last-mile connections, or the final leg of telecommunications networks that deliver services to the end-users. The NGCP assures that its unused fiber-optic capacity will be made available to fill in the needs of the program,” the company said.

Follow-up meetings, facility tours and a draft contract for a prospective partnership on the national broadband are also in the works. The NGCP is a Filipino-led, privately owned company in charge of operating, maintaining and developing the country’s power grid, led by majority shareholders Henry Sy Jr. and Robert Coyiuto Jr. Meanwhile, the grid operator said on Wednesday its Mindanao operations and maintenance is under “normal operations”, after the lockdown and the declaration of martial law at around 11 p.m. on Tuesday.

Power from Agus 1 Hydro Plant to Lanao del Sur Electric Cooperative feeder remains normal. Currently, only 5 megawatts (MW) is being drawn compared to the normal 12-MW loading. There is a monitored tripping affecting Marawi City caused by a disturbance at the NGCP’s Mindanao State University (MSU) load-end switching station.

Transmission-line personnel cannot mobilize to inspect and fix the affected facility due to the lock down in the area.

The rest of Mindanao is experiencing normal power supply.

The NGCP is preparing its contingency plans for the next 60 days.

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