Press Release
September 8, 2011


Senator Edgardo J. Angara said that the administration should bid out the proposed creation of a government broadband network (GBN).

Angara, Chair of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology, noted that the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is currently making an inventory of government assets that can serve as the basis for the network.

"Connecting government through high-speed Internet is clearly a project to look forward to. But once the inventory is finished, private companies should be allowed to not only bid for putting up the necessary infrastructure, but also to maintain, improve and perhaps even innovate on the GBN," said Angara.

He cited General Services Administration (GSA) Networx, a program that manages the largest set of government contracts for telecommunications in the United States.

Through the GSA Networx, US federal agencies are able to source their information and communications technology (ICT) solutions from private contractors and vendors at competitive prices.

In 2007, GSA Networx awarded significant service contracts to AT&T Corp., Verizon Business Services and Qwest Government Services, Inc.

Angara said, "ICT transforms very rapidly. For any broadband network to be responsive, it has to be updated continuously. Government should focus on its core governance functions, not on maintaining its own network. Of course, this is not to say that caution should not be exercised in bidding out contract--more so, in fact."

A similar project for a national broadband network was marred with controversy during the Arroyo administration. The US$329 million NBN-ZTE deal was cancelled in light of accusations of corruption.

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