Fast connectivity coming soon to remote towns in the Cordillera


CONNECTED. Cordillera leaders and presidential legal adviser Salvador Panelo (5th from left) show the region’s MoU and Internet service provider Converge signed at the Baguio Convention Center on Friday, September 17, 2021. The agreement will deliver Internet connectivity even in remote mountain towns. (ANP photo by Liza Agoot)

CITY OF BAGUIO – The Cordillera Administrative Region (RCA) is expected to have strong and reliable connectivity by 2023 after an internet service provider pledges to provide fiber-optic broadband network and global technology through satellite, even in the most remote mountain towns.

Clarence Alvarado, the chief engineer of Metroworks ICT in charge of installing the fiber optic cables, said the towns of Baguio, La Trinidad, Sablan, Tuba and Tublay (BLSTT) were installed with several backbone cables , mostly active and reaching homes.

For the installation of phase 1 which will run until January 2022, the lines will be spread across seven towns in Benguet, six municipalities in Mountain Province, four towns in Kaling and four in Abra, Alvarado said during ‘a briefing after the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOA) at the Baguio Convention Center on Friday.

By March 2022 to 2023, Alvarado said cable lines would have reached Asipulo, Alfonso Lista, Kiangan and Lagawe in Ifugao; Pudtol, Kabugao and Flora in Apayao; Paracelis, Barlig and Natonin in the mountain province; Kabayan, Kapangan and Kibungan in Benguet, including Banaue and Hingyon in Ifugao, for the last stage of the project which will be followed by the continuation of the extension project to bring branch lines to homes and offices.

Mountain Province Governor Bonifacio Lacwasan, in his speech after the signing of the MOA, said that an improved communications network will not only allow local governments to deliver better and faster services.

It will also be beneficial for students and the community in general.

Presidential Legal Advisor Salvador Panelo, who facilitated the inclusion of the Cordillera in the company’s expansion plan, attended the signing activity.

Benguet Governor Melchor Diclas hopes for better performance from the existing connectivity service.

“We are pleased that the company has included the Cordillera as an expansion project. This is a watershed moment for the people of the Cordillera, ”Kalinga Mayor Darwin Estranero said in Tabuk City.

Sagada Mayor James Pooten said their plan to reopen tourism will require internet service as they have an online registration portal to monitor the number of tourists.

He said their inclusion in the project would be of great help in economic recovery.

Converge CEO Dennis Anthony Uy said in a recorded video message that his company’s goal is to reach unserved and underserved areas.

Aakyatin is not it Cordillera to help you test (We will climb the Cordillera mountains to be able to reach the provinces). We would like to build a world-class digital highway across the Cordillera and support the growth and development of the provinces. We would like the Cordillera provinces to start using technology to provide the service people so badly need, ”Uy said.

Given the region’s terrain that will make installing fiber optic cables a challenge, global satellite technology will be used to connect hard-to-reach areas.

“It is my goal to bring connectivity to the majority of Filipino households and signing the MOA will bring us closer to that goal,” he said. (ANP)

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