As one of the culminating activities of the first ever Philippine Space Week celebrations, the Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA) facilitated the handing over of six (6) Starlink units from Data Lake, Inc., authorized reseller of Starlink in the Philippines, to the local government unit (LGU) of Dingalan, Aurora, and Apad-Jomalig National High School in Jomalig, Quezon.
In a turnover ceremony conducted at the PhilSA office in Eastwood, Quezon City, on 14 August 2023, the Starlink units were presented by Mr. Michael Bell, Chief Strategic Officer of Data Lake Inc. to PhilSA, led by Director General Dr. Joel Joseph S. Marciano Jr., as part of the implementation of the PhilSA INCENTIVISE (Introducing Non-Geostationary Satellite Constellations Test Deployments to Improve Internet Service) Project.
“The INCENTIVISE Project helps bring space technology closer to Filipinos. Low Earth orbit satellite Internet constellations such as Starlink provide a new way of bridging remote areas of our country, and with the high speed and reliable connectivity in place, PhilSA is also able to reach the farthest communities to deliver rich content and services,” according to Dr. Joel Joseph S. Marciano, Jr., PhilSA Director General.
The LGU officials and school personnel were joined by representatives from the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the United States Agency for International Development Better Access and Connectivity (USAID-BEACON) to show support for the project, which aims to deploy and demonstrate emerging satellite connectivity technologies to benefit rural communities in the Philippines. The kits will be formally donated to the LGUs of Dingalan and Jomalig in the near future.
“We have taken our next step where we will be using the connectivity to hold seminars and training sessions on the use of satellite images for local officials and conducting lectures on space science and technology for the teachers and students in these communities. We thank Data Lake, SpaceX, USAID-BEACON, DOST-ASTI and DICT for their collaboration and pivotal role in the implementation of INCENTIVISE”, PhilSA Director General Marciano added.
In response to PhilSA’s objective of expanding the INCENTIVISE project, the integration of broadband Internet, represented by SpaceX’s Starlink, is part of Data Lake’s commitment to deploying high-speed Internet kits to the country’s isolated communities. This, in turn, could potentially reshape education, healthcare, and economic landscapes in remote regions.
The INCENTIVISE Project conducted a successful satellite Internet public demonstration in Dingalan and Jomalig on 21 April 2023, generating interest and demand from various remote communities and schools. During the demonstration, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Vice President Sara Duterte-Carpio, and DICT Secretary Ivan John Uy provided messages of support for the project.
The formal handover ceremony highlighted the synergy and collective drive of government, international organizations, and the private sector within the INCENTIVISE Project framework and in shaping a more interconnected future for all Filipinos.