DOST plans to build community-based cellular networks in remote areas

Jaehwa Bernardo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 29 2020 03:08 PM

MANILA — The Department of Science and Technology said Tuesday it is planning to build "community-based cellular networks" in 10 remote areas across the country to provide internet connectivity that could aid in distance learning.

"We are planning to set up in 10 very remote places just to show that it can be done even if the big telcos are not located in these areas," DOST Secretary Fortunato dela Peña said during the Senate's hearing of his agency's proposed 2021 budget.

Philippine Space Agency Director-General Joel Joseph Marciano said the community networks will use open-source technology to build "infrastructure like LTE that can provide connectivity in those areas."

"Our small satellites can provide basic communications that can support that ground infrastructure," Marciano said.

But Dela Peña noted that the DOST was still identifying the remote areas where they would build the networks.

Dela Peña also said datacasting in digital television can help in distance learning.

The DOST is also developing learning modules for students, he added. 

The DepEd will implement distance learning in schools for the upcoming academic year as in-person classes remain suspended due to the spread of COVID-19.

When classes in public schools start on October 5, students will be learning via printed and digital modules, online classes, television, and radio.