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NBN scandal 2.0? Palace: Salalima’s nat’l broadband plan overpriced in favor of Globe, PLDT

PLDT and Globe Telecoms might have enjoyed a windfall if former Department of Information and Communications (DICT) Secretary Rodolfo Salalima pushed through with his national broadband network (NBN) plan because it was supposedly overpriced.

Malacañang on Monday (November 20) said the government would’ve shelled out P277 billion if Salalima’s NBN plan proceeded.

“It was also observed that the initial costs for a national broadband plan appeared excessive at 200 billion because the recommendation did not consider the contribution that could be made by existing broadband providers such as the National Grid Corporation (NGCP), the National Transmission Corporation, Fiber Optic Alliance and the Philippine National Railway Communication Project,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said at a press briefing.

“Now, it would appear also that the — under the scheme being pushed by the former Secretary of DICT, the NBP terrestrial backbone would still have left the duopoly with the right to connect the end users to the backbone ‘no. And this after government would have spent already P77 billion,” he added.

The draft blueprint of the DICT’s NBN plan stated that households may enjoy internet speed of at least 10-Mbps by 2020 once a fiber optic network is installed “from north to south.”

There were plans to have a national broadband network during the time of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, but it was scrapped in 2007 over allegations of corruption and overpricing.

Salalima resigned in September, citing corruption and interference. President Rodrigo Duterte, however, later said he fired his former classmate from the San Beda College of Law.

Roque said the telco duopoly is about to be broken up as Duterte has authorized the entry of a Chinese telco as a third player.

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