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Sep 30th
Home Sections Revotelution The OF-led “ReVOTElution” Will Also Launch a “Wireless Revolution”
The OF-led “ReVOTElution” Will Also Launch a “Wireless Revolution” PDF Print E-mail
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Monday, 12 January 2009 13:04

By Bobby M. Reyes of Sorsogon, Philippines, and West Covina, California

The ‘Wireless Revolution’ continues . . . –Dan Hesse, CEO, Sprint


T he “Wireless Revolution (WR)” is part of a television commercial that Sprint has been airing. It features its CEO, Dan Hesse, as its spokesman. The Sprint Corporation made sense (and saved money) in not hiring a nationally-known media personality or a television celebrity to do the commercial. Yes, indeed, all electronic "toys" – from phones to computers and other digitalized gadgets -- are going wireless in the United States and in many parts of the industrialized world. The WR is now operating even in some developing countries.

(Editor’s Note: This article is Part III of a series on the Broadband Industry, Internet and Bandwidth)

Several Overseas-Filipino (OF) groups are teaming up to launch a “reVOTElution,” a term that this writer has coined. It is a peaceful revolution that will be achieved through the ballot. One of the main features of the OF-led “reVOTElutionary” (sic) platform of economics is to make the Philippines a “wireless country,” insofar as the Internet, telephone and satellite-TV are concerned. Depending on the availability of a space satellite that is needed for the country-wide broadband network, the project could be completed fully in three to five years.


Public schools in the United States now practice the WR. My 10-year-old grandson, Dean M. Reyes, a fifth-grader student, was provided gratis et amore by his school with a laptop computer that has WIFI connections and he would return it only when he finishes the 8th grade. All the fifth- to the eight-grade students in his school are provided laptops free of charge. Now, how can students in the Philippines compete with their American counterparts when many Filipinos even finish college without ever using a computer in their lives?


At the rate it is going, the Ayala Foundation’s GIL@S computer project for Filipino public schools will take perhaps forever to equip all classrooms in the Philippines with desktop or laptop computers. And many of the GIL@S computers are not hooked up to internet-service providers (ISP), assuming that the high school can afford the ISP subscription fees. Broadband connections, Internet, cellular-phone and satellite-TV services in the first place are priced very prohibitively in the Philippines, especially when compared to the country’s per-capita income.


In late January 2008 (last year), we sent a proposal through channel and through our friend who works at the Office of the Philippine President. We said that “a group of Overseas-Filipino workers (OFWs) and Filipino Americans has a proposal to make the Philippines the pilot project for an innovative broadband technology.”


In fact on Feb. 16, 2008, we reported our offer to President Arroyo in this article, OFWs Offer an Alternative to NBN-ZTEgate Project.


The OF-led NBN offer could meet the question posed by then President Ramon Magsaysay, “Can we defend it in Plaza Miranda?”

We told our contact at the Office of the Philippine President that our proposal could even put an end to the on-going National Broadband Network (NBN)-ZTE scandal that critics dubbed as tainted by corruption. Yes, knowing that our California-based coalition was composed of “incorruptible” individuals, then the Philippine President would look clean and smart. We said also that since our offer would not involve loans to be obtained by the Philippine government, then the project becomes defensible. In other words, it could meet the question posed by then President Ramon Magsaysay, “Can we defend it in Plaza Miranda (then the center of the People’s Court of Public Opinion)?”


We emphasized also that our proposal would make the Philippines the SELLER of “broadband technology and system” to developing countries, instead of being a BUYER. It would deliver many economic benefits to the homeland and make even far-flung barangays – from Batanes to Basilan and all the islands in the Sulu archipelago – accessible to wireless technology. And our NBN would make the WIFI connections in the Philippine archipelago free of charge. We could cut down also on the costs of cellular-phone and television-dish coverage. Our NBN project would and could turn into reality the “Online Barangay (Filipino village)” proposal of many Overseas-Filipino leaders like Elsa Bayani. It can make all the islands in the Philippines part of the Internet world and more . . .  (How we will make decent return-on-investment or ROI will be explained in Part IV of this series.)


At the end of February 2008, our contact said that the OP was not interested in our offer. Our contact did not, however, say that one of the probable reasons for the denial was that the proponent was one of the most-rabid journalist-critics of the Arroyo Administration. But the supposed wise guys at the OP never bothered to think that had they listened to our proposal, I could have stopped writing nasty articles about President Arroyo. For instance, on May 3, 2008, this writer would not have posted this satirical piece, Similarities Between Saddam Hussein and Gloria Arroyo.


Yes, the world is going wireless. The Sprint’s Dan Hesse is absolutely right. Even the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) of the United States has a “free broadband” plan. Outgoing FCC Chairman Kevin Martin had hoped to use the “fallow wireless spectrum” to offer free wireless broadband across the United States. President-elect Barack H. Obama will have to appoint Mr. Martin’s successor but the betting is that the new Administration will push the plan to a successful conclusion.


It does not take rocket scientists to create a national-broadband system. As explained by a Filipino executive in Silicon Valley, the equipment and other gadgets are readily available in the American (and even the world) market. Another Southern California-based Filipino computer-industry executive disputes the wisdom of the Philippines buying a grossly-overpriced NBN system from China. This second executive says that Chinese NBN technology is anchored on keeping state secrets and limiting public access to the Internet. Why the Arroyo Administration chose to select the Chinese NBN version is highly illogical since China is not the world’s dominant participant and much more the leader in the broadband technology. Perhaps it was indeed the bribe that went with the deal that prompted the Arroyo Administration to opt for the Chinese connection and supplier.


We will discuss by next article more details on how the OF-offered NBN system will be able to offer free broadband and subsidized cellular-phone and satellite-TV connections in the Philippines.


To read the first two articles in this series, please click on the following articles,


OFWs Offer an Alternative to NBN-ZTEgate Project


The Broadband-ZTEgate Scandal Shows Not-so-Broad Mind of Filipino Leaders


Here are other related articles:


Preparing the Philippines and the Overseas Filipinos for the “Exaflood” (Part One)


Analyzing the NBN-ZTEgate from the Viewpoint of China’s Expansion of Influence in the Philippines (by Gov. Ben Sanchez in Columns / Tremendous Trifles)


How Microchips Can Eliminate Corruption in the Philippines


BOT, BOO, BT, BLT, ROT, ROO (Acronyms to Explain the Now-Scandalous Broadband Deal With China’s ZTE) (by Guest Columnist F. C. Payumo in Columns / Op-Ed Page) # # #



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