Fiber optics is the latest technology in high-speed communication using glass or silicon fiber to transmit and receive messages in the form of light instead of electricity.
Fiber optic cables connect government agencies to a data center, which acts as the medium of communications, traffic controller, server and applications host, and keeper and manager of data. The use of fiber optic cable (FOC) will help people in government communicate faster, coordinate activities better, facilitate collaborative work and increase productivity, resulting in speedier and more efficient delivery of goods and services to citizens.
The Integrated Government Philippines (iGovPhil) Program is developing fiber optic backbones along with the set up of goverment data centers. A government data center is equipped with necessary network machines, data storage facilities, and cooling, security, power, monitoring and fire protection systems.
To effectively implement the tasks laid out in the E-Government Master Plan, a fast and efficient network is needed to interconnect government offices for coordinated and simplified public service.
A budget of Php 64 million is allocated for the fiber-to-the-building connection of some 160 government agencies, schools, local government units and hospitals in Metro Manila, and an initial budget of Php 5 million is allocated for those in Metro Cebu. These agencies were selected to be included in the pilot implementation due to their close proximity to the main backbone. Eventually, the network will be extended to include all government agencies and various levels of government (national, provincial, and local) as well as state universities and hospitals.
The FOC network will benefit participating government agencies through lower Internet cost and faster data transfers for government-to-government (G2G) communications and transactions outside the Internet. The benefit for the citizens will be faster and more efficient government service.
The network is envisioned to have enough bandwidth capacity to accommodate the expected rise in the volume of traffic with the implementation of the various developed iGovPhil shared software, applications and services. Expansion plans are also being considered with the help of other government agencies, like the Philippine National Railways (PNR), the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
This early, plans to expand the FOC network are already being considered to cover a big portion of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.