A different perspective on Government Broadband Network plan

Yesterday, I was given a different perspective on the government’s plan to create a broadband network.

Two things that struck me.

1) It could potentially create IT jobs for local Philippine companies.

And 2) It will make things efficient.

If done properly, I was told that a government broadband network linking agencies could make communication and information between government agencies faster. How I understood the pitch— Agency A could potentially call Agency B, on a query based on say, a driver’s ID. It could say if your SSS dues were paid, or your GSIS benefits are good, or your Pag-Ibig housing loan is up to spec. This is the efficiency part.

Then there is the potential that Filipino companies could benefit. It could create more IT jobs because of the massive development work needed to build the infrastructure itself. Which, ergo is a plus for the economy.

What do you think?

Image credit: xkcd, some rights reserved.

Cocoy Dayao

Cocoy is the Chief Technology Officer of Lab Rats Technica, a Digital Consulting company that specialises in DevOps, iOS, and Web Apps, E-Commerce sites, Cybersecurity and Social Media consulting. He is a technology enthusiast, political junkie and social observer who enjoys a good cup of coffee, comic books, and tweets as @cocoy on twitter.

Cocoy is also the Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief of the ProPinoy Project.

Cocoy considers himself to be Liberal.

  • cocoy

    Thanks for the heads up. I’ve been monitoring if there are warnings, but nada. We’re keeping tracking using Google and other tools and nothing. Thanks though for the heads up.

  • J_ag

    Hard public goods, soft public goods and now smart public goods. The Philippines as a country is still struggling to put in place hard and soft public goods (infrastructure and education and health) and now we are talking about the smart infra in terms of IT . 

    It is okay to dream but these issues on ground will not fly based on the realities of the stage of Philippine development.  We cannot even maintain roads and education is a shambles. 

    The cost of installing and maintenance is expensive and the state still does not have capacities to sustain it. 

    • Test lang.

    • I agree with J_ag. Knowing how government institutions have failed in the past there are reasons to be cynical about this government broadband plan. However, this is a new government that promises change and seems it can carry its credibility on its shoulder so far, so, I guess I will have to go with this broadband plan and be optimistic of its success because really there is a necessity for it.

  • The above applies only if the national broadband network project includes a mandate for each relevant agency to digitize their databases. AFAIK, very few government agencies have done so, much less to a level of acceptable efficiency. The alternative here is to have several secure, integrated databases accessible only by gov’t offices (or granting limited access to the public, whichever floats your boat) on a need-to-know basis. Possible,  but only if the think-tanks behind this new gov’t broadband project already have those in mind.

    • cocoy

      I imagined their perspective as building a sort of Pinoy version of the Defense Data Network.  Like, this is the private network infrastructure of the PH Govt. 

      Raggster, exactly. and which, i think— from the perspective of Pinoy IT Companies— could be lucrative government contracts tying all of those lose ends together in one neat bow.  *shrugs* it seems overtly ambitious, to me or maybe that’s my cynicism showing. 

      • At least they’re ambitious in a productive way, and not in the way that costs lives and billions. 😉 Still, I have similar reservations as to what kind of actual networks this will establish. If it’s just a matter of stringing together whatever exists now, without any plans towards integration and public access, then it would be a huge waste.

        Also, it would be neat if they could ride a public WIFI network on this, at least for public facilities such as city halls, hospitals, etc. If only to make these buildings more people-friendly.

  • Joe America

    I think the cost/benefit needs to be compared with other spending needs, and the vulnerability of private information being so openly shared needs to be given close, close, microscopic detailed specific finite examination.

  • Manuelbuencamino

    Like Jun Lozada said, “Check the cost assumptions first, carefully.”