February 9, 2002
The Ivatan Foundation for Development Communication, Inc.
(IFDCI) teamed up with a Manila-based foundation, named PH Domain
Foundation, to bring Internet connectivity to Batanes. This project
which has been worked out for the past one year was finally launched
last Saturday, February 9, 2002 with Congressman Abad and Governor Gato
gracing the affair. "What we launched actually is an Internet station
(or cafe) with 10 workstations, housed at the PCO-Piltel branch along
Abad street in Basco" says IFDCI Executive Director Demetrius Narag. The
internet station is named BatanesConnect and open for the general
Aside from BatanesConnect, IFDCI also
launched the Internet connectivity in around 16 offices. These offices
have Internet access right in their premises, connected to the IFDCI
satellite services via wireless connection. According to IDFCI's
partners, this is a "first" in the Philippines. Since BatanesConnect is
located in Basco, people from the other towns need to go to Basco to
surf or send email. But this early, they are already thinking to
eventually extend Internet accessibility to the other towns / islands.
IFDCI charges P50/hour for Internet use at
the BatanesConnect. A reasonable rate if not very cheap, considering
that the whole system is not the usual telephone--modem-computer-ISP
set-up and also considering Batanes' geographical location and
remoteness where everything needed to be hooked up via satellite
Aside from IFDCI and PH Domain there are two
more companies that worked in this project. These are Telesat, Inc.
(satellite service provider) and Cisco / Getronics (the supplier of the
wireless system used). "Congressman Abad helped us by sourcing fund
support for the wireless facilities and for that we are indeed very
grateful. The provincial government of Batanes, led by Governor Gato was
also very supportive to this project." says Mr. Narag
be giving free E-mail accounts to 100 users, using batanes-ifdci.com.ph.
Those who would want to avail of this free e-mail access can register
their names to IFDCI for their accounts and their passwords. Anybody who
has a free e-mail account can send and receive his e-mail at the
BatanesConnect Internet station.
The above news was sent via email by IFDCI
office in Batanes (email@example.com) Visit their website