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Philippines considers PPP for NBN plan

The Philippines government is considering convening a public private partnership to manage the implementation of its planned national broadband network.

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has approached the PPP Center with assistance in implementing the 77.9 billion peso ($1.53 billion) national broadband network project, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported.

The PPP Center's project development and monitoring facility is expected to conduct a feasibility study into deploying the network under a public-private partnership model, with a focus on the component of the project involving installing mobile towers at various parts of the country.

According to the report, one model being considered would involve securing private sector funding for deploying the cell sites, which could then be leased to operators to conduct the build.

As announced last year, the Philippines' NBN project will seek to bring high-speed connectivity to unserved and underserved parts of the country, which could be the key to addressing the nation's notoriously slow average connection speeds.

Besides the mobile component, the network project will also involve providing free Wi-Fi access in select public places. The network may seek to utilize the private telecoms network assets of the Philippines' National Grid Corp.

The government aims to complete the project before the end of president Duterte's term in 2022.