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DICT tasked to secure orbital slots for satellites

Rainier Allan Ronda (The Philippine Star) - March 14, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has been tasked to secure orbital slots for Philippine satellites, a move that would allow the country to tap satellite-based internet connectivity services.

Under Executive Order (EO) 127 signed by President Duterte on March 10, the DICT and its attached agency the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) will craft the implementing rules and regulations for the national policy on inclusive access to satellite services.

EO 127 allows telecommunications entities, internet service providers (ISPs), broadcast companies, and value-added services (VAS) operators to have direct access to all satellite systems in the Philippines and overseas for the purpose of building and operating broadband facilities.

The EO opens the way wide open for the DICT to tap satellite internet connectivity to widen access to connectivity.

The DICT has already opened exploratory talks with Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) for the use of their Starlink satellite broadband services.

Earlier, Emmanuel Rey Caintic, DICT Undersecretary for digital Philippines, said that a virtual conference with SpaceX officials last February had gone “really good”.

With the satisfactory initial talks, Caintic said that he was now studying how the Starlink satellite broadband services provided by SpaceX could best be used for the DICT’s community WiFi internet initiatives.

Hawthorne, California-based SpaceX is targetting to deploy the Starlink satellite broadband services in the Philippines by the third quarter of 2021.

DEPARTMENT OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY NATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
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