Olongapo Telecom & Information Technology

Saturday, July 07, 2007

NCC drafting e-center roadmap

By Lawrence Casiraya - INQUIRER.net

SINGAPORE -- The National Computer Center (NCC) has started consultations with private sector stakeholders on how go about the setting up more community e-centers (CECs) until 2010.

The CEC project aims to set up local telecommunications centers or telecenters that will provide Internet access and other services down to the barangay level. It was given "special priority" in a government ICT roadmap issued earlier this year.

Tess Camba, head of NCC's field operations office, said in a phone interview that initial consultations will take place in Manila this week.

"There will be sessions with different groups that will discuss key issues in the CEC project like infrastructure and content," she said.

The initiative originally started from a project by the Department of Transportations and Telecommunications (DoTC), which called on the private sector to invest in CECs.

Private investors, however, did not show much interest in the project back then.

The Telecommunications Office (TELOF), under the DoTC, is also looking to upgrade some 250 municipal calling centers into Internet-capable CECs.

NCC, meanwhile, got P100 million in funding in 2004 to establish 100 CECs on its own. The government is now looking to set up 500 CECs more until the Arroyo administration finishes its term in 2010.

NCC will also hold consultations in Baguio City in the North and key cities in Visayas and Mindanao in the South.

The goal of the above-mentioned consultations, according to Camba, is to discuss how to sustain existing and present CECs, and come up with a roadmap with standards on how to go about deploying these community centers.

"We want to create something from the ground up, not only NCC dictating how CECs should be set up," she said, noting the need for localization. "It's not only a matter of setting up but more importantly, sustaining it."

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