Hello Online World!

Researchers from the Department of Science and Technology- Advanced Science and Technology Institute are bridging the digital divide for Filipinos in rural areas by connecting them to the online world.

Through the project Resilient Education Information Infrastructure for the New Normal or Project REIINN, rural areas will be connected to the online world through community cellular networks (CCNs).

CCNs are community owned small-scale network infrastructure which provide local connectivity needs and are widely deployed around the world, providing connectivity to unserved, underserved and geographically challenging areas. It is becoming an emerging alternative solution in addressing the connectivity gap.

Project REIINN building upon the gains of the Village Base Station project which pioneered the deployment of CCNs in the Philippines. The VBTS project provided voice and SMS communication services using 2G GSM cellular technology in seven rural areas in the province of Aurora.

Project REIINN through LokaLTE.

The team will be conducting trial deployments of LokaLTE in two rural areas in the Philippines. This deployment will be the first LTE community network in the country and will allow researchers to study how LTE technology impacts service provision and subscriber behavior, among others.

DOST-PCIEERD Executive Director Enrico Paringit sees REINN as a significant step towards achieving connectivity within hard-to-reach areas such as provinces. He called on other agencies to support this initiative that intends to enhance these areas’ internet connectivity and bridging the digital divide.

“Project REIINN is a prime example of what innovation can do for the people and we will continue in supporting science-based solutions,” Paringit said.

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