Taking a step towards achieving high-speed Internet connectivity in Luzon, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), under the leadership of Secretary Ivan John E. Uy, conducted the National Fiber Backbone (NFB) Phase 1 Spectrum Light-up Ceremony last 19-21 April 2023 at the Baler Cable Landing Station in Baler, Aurora.
The ceremony facilitated the initial 100 Gbps link-up between Los Angeles, California and the cable landing stations and San Fernando, La Union CLS. The establishment of the connectivity link-up is part of the Luzon Bypass Infrastructure (LBI) that will provide high-speed internet connectivity to Northern Luzon and Metro Manila once the NFB Phase 1 becomes operational. The LBI, a project of DICT in partnership with Meta (Facebook) and the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA), is a building block of the NFB.
Secretary Uy hailed the connectivity link-up as a milestone for the completion of the LBI project. He cited connectivity as a tool that carries a positive impact on the lives of Filipinos, especially those living in remote and far-flung areas.
“This network will provide faster and more reliable internet connectivity to the people and businesses in the region, as well as boost our competitiveness in the global market. The LBI is not just a project, it is a game-changer. It is a symbol of progress and development, a beacon of hope for a better future. Together, let us work closely to ensure that the benefits of ICT reach every corner of the nation, in line with the directives of our dear President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr.,” Secretary Uy declared.
Secretary Uy was joined by BCDA President and Chief Executive Officer Aileen Zosa, ComClark – Converge Co-Founder and CEO Dennis Anthony Uy, and USAID BEACON Chief of Party John Garitty during the event, along with other DICT and BCDA officials, NFB Phase 1 contractors, and government officials from the Province of Aurora.
Aside from the Spectrum Light-up Ceremony, Secretary Uy also led the ceremonial activation of Broadband ng Masa (BBM) sites in Baler. Undersecretary for Connectivity Angelo Nuestro, Assistant Secretary for Connectivity Philip Varilla, Assistant Secretary for Legal Affairs Renato Paraiso, and BBM Project Manager Roderick Escolango joined the ceremonial activation. Through the BBM Project, the people of Baler can enjoy fast and reliable Internet access that will allow them to access e-government services and participate in the digital economy.
In his closing remarks during the ceremonial activation, Assistant Secretary Varilla acknowledged all partners for the success of the initiative and discussed the positive impacts of Broadband ng Masa and enhanced connectivity to the public.
“Today, we have witnessed another fulfilled liaison as we connect more Filipinos in the lighting up of the cable landing station. This is only possible because of the support we received from everyone on this stage today. We will leave no Filipino behind as we march toward digital transformation. To our partners, thank you for sharing with us your passion for creating positive change and connecting each Filipino to the world,” he said.