Gatchalian files bill boosting use and development of satellite tech for better Internet in PH


Senator Win Gatchalian filed a bill that promotes satellite tech to improve Internet connectivity in the Philippines.

It’s called Senate Bill No. 2250 or the “Satellite-Based Technologies for Internet Connectivity Act of 2021.” It proposes that the State will “promote broad and inclusive access to satellite technology for reliable and affordable internet services.” It also stated that the move is vital for economic growth, provides decent employment opportunities, and improves educational results.

To improve connectivity nationwide, the government should openly allow access to services involving satellite tech. It should also hasten the expansion of broadband infrastructure, especially in unserved or underserved areas.

The bill mandates the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to expand satellite-based technologies as alternative connectivity. The department will also exercise regulatory and administrative jurisdiction over ISPs and satellite policies, among others.

According to Gatchalian, the country still lacks the use of digital technologies. Only about 45% of Filipinos and 74% of public schools nationwide remain unconnected. It’s even far below in the Visayas and Mindanao, where there’s less than 40% internet usage.

“Our problem is that the number of service providers is still limited when it comes to Internet connection. So even if we say that the internet is speeding up in some cities, it is still not felt, especially in remote provinces without cell sites or towers,” he pointed out.