Beneco eyes internet service for electricity consumers

>> Tuesday, August 7, 2018

By Pamela Mariz Geminiano

BAGUIO CITY -- The Benguet Electric Cooperative (Beneco) is set to provide faster and cheaper internet service to households connected to its electricity line.
Beneco Non-Network Services Department Manager Delfin Cachin said on Wednesday the electric cooperative is hoping to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) by next week.
DICT, he said, will give a two-million-megabits-per-second (mbps) bandwidth, which is equivalent to other internet providers' service approved by the National Electrification Administration (NEA).
“DICT saw that they can tap electric cooperatives to provide cheaper and faster internet connection even in the far-flung areas," Cachin said.
He added there are already existing fiber optic cables ready to be used in providing the internet connection service.
This project with the DICT is in line with the President Rodrigo Duterte's order to provide faster internet connection for all Filipinos, including those in far-flung communities.
Earlier, the President ordered the provision of internet service to all Filipinos nationwide. This is hoped to be achieved with an upcoming National Broadband Plan that aims to address the poor internet connection in the Philippines.
Cachin said the DICT tapped NEA to discuss the agreement with Beneco.
"There are three options," he explained. "It's either DICT will give funds or they will be checking an existing line of the consumer, so they can lease or to give bandwidth. But we are hoping for the bandwidth to be given."
Cachin said each consumer would be paying P200 to P300 on top of their bills.
As of the moment, Beneco has an existing 100 kilometers of fiber optic cables from Baguio to Mankayan, Benguet.
Cachin said Beneco would be installing 80 kilometers more of fiber optic cables, as part of the utility cooperative’s modernization and development program.
This, he said, is like hitting two birds with one stone--improving power lines that are capable of transmitting internet connection. But to achieve this, Beneco still has a long way to go.
"Based on the assessment, we will still be needing 500 kilometers of fiber optic cable lines for Baguio alone,” he said. --  PNA


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