Category: National Broadband Network

A Review of the National Broadband Network-ZTE supply contract

The National Broadband Network (NBN) Project is a scandal-ridden controversy. The project, awarded to Chinese state-owned ZTE Corporation, is the subject of a continuing Senate inquiry for alleged over-pricing and illegality, involving bribery of high-ranking government officials. Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairperson Benjamin Abalos, one of those accused of “peddling” the project, has resigned from office, in view of possible impeachment by the House of Representative.

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The last brouhahurrah?

So I’m sitting here, on the eve of Joey de Venecia’s testimony before the Senate Blue Ribbon committee, asking myself, “How pissed off would civil society be if Joey de Venecia identified a confidante or a relative of Gloria Arroyo as the NBN mystery man?”

And I console myself, “At least the truth will liberate civil society from the superstition that Noli de Castro can do more harm in two and a half years than a horde of Gloria appointees, associates, and relatives looking for a ‘last hurrah.”

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On the National Broadband Project

Even if the National Broadband Network (NBN) deal were consummated completely aboveboard, passed all legal hurdles, and was free of corruption, we should still be opposed to it in principle, simply because it is bad policy.

The concern raised by former Dean Raul Fabella and myself in our paper (Lacking a backbone) relates to two points: the first goes to the substance of the project; the second points to certain failures in the process by which it was arrived at.

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Lacking a backbone: The controversy over the “Nat’l Broadband Network” & Cyber-education project

It is unsettling that so soon after the mid-term elections (the conduct of which is another issue altogether), the administration should again be embroiled in a mess of its own making. The wonders and mysteries surrounding the government’s most recent initiatives on information and communications technology (ICT) are quickly threatening to abort the administration’s attempts to resurrect its credibility, not to speak of “establishing a legacy”. Two projects in particular have quickly become controversial: the first is the government’s project to build its own digital communications “backbone” called the “national broadband network” (NBN); the second is the proposal to link public schools via a satellite-supported network to enable pupils and teachers to access the internet and other resources.

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