The Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA), the Department of Science and Technology’s Advance Science and Technology Institute  (DOST-ASTI), and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) started the test deployment of a satellite internet service in two rural banks in Batangas to improve connectivity in order to provide rural banks financial inclusivity.

iOne Resources, Inc was tapped to provide the service to deploy satellite system in a Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDA), identified by the Department of Information and Communication (DICT) to install terrestrial networks to boost internet connectivity.

Out of 1,634 municipalities in the country, 33 percent, or 533 municipalities, still do not have bank accounts or access to financial inclusion services and that’s the reason why the agencies initiated to test deployment of the satellite Internet service throught iOne SatLink in two rural banks in Batangas—The Progressive Bank of Malvar and the Rural Bank of Cuenca respectively.

“We are honored to serve the government with  our Satellite services and we will always be at the backend (technically) of any government efforts in building connectivity infrasture that are beneficial for our economic development”, said Alberto Catangui, CEO of iOne Resources, Inc.

With enhanced connectivity in rural areas, digital financial services—such as remittances, bills payment, and opening transaction accounts, among others, would be more inclusive and accessible.

PhilSA is mandated mandated to enable other government agencies or departments, as well as the private sector, to perform their duties with the use of space science and technology applications and space data.

“PhilSA and DOST-ASTI will process data to look at the network performance against the actual connectivity needs of the banks. Information from these reports will be utilized by BSP as we move this partnership forward,” said PhilSA Space Business Development Division Officer-in-Charge Ma. Victoria Gazmin-Basto.

iOne’s SatLink is a Managed Satellite Service  Based for Free Wifi  System in the GIDA (Geographically Isolated and Depressed Areas) of the country.  It is based on Ka-band VSAT Terminal that can burst to 30Mbps downlink and 10Mbps uplink. 

In the meanwhile, DOST-ASTI, has also developed a A Weather and Performance Monitoring System (WPMS) apparatus and was set up in locations near the two banks to gather data.

The WPMS is equipped with a network performance monitoring device connected to the satellite Internet-user equipment to measure network parameters, such as upload and download speeds, throughput, latency and jitter, among others.

With this collaboration project of private and the government, this effort will further enable digital inclusivity as transactions and services move to online platforms.

A memorandum of understanding among PhilSA, DOST-ASTI and BSP to promote access to high-quality financial services powered by internet connectivity is underway.