The Philippine Government Needs a CIO

When I see the Philippine government attempt such boneheaded IT projects as the National Broadband Network, I am convinced the Philippine government needs a chief information officer to steer their IT projects in the right direction. As it stands, decision-making for government IT projects is just one big mess: witness the insane number of functionally unrelated government executives (and even one executive’s spouse!) embroiled in the NBN controversy.

As much as I disagree with Senator Loren Legarda’s misguided attempt to censor the Internet, I must agree with her push to create a Department of Information and Communications Technology. The secretary of that department would effectively become the government’s CIO. With one person in charge of IT projects, the government wouldn’t have so many extraneous individuals with extraneous interests meddling in IT decisions.

The NBN is Just Stupid

Why are people talking as if the Philippine National Broadband Network deal makes any sense at all? If the Philippine government wants to get connected, have them hook their offices up to existing Philippine ISPs and be done with it. A government VPN over DSL, cable, and satellite plans from the best providers in each province would cost far less to build and maintain than this $329 million white elephant.

Connectivity is a commodity. The Philippine government is not YouTube; its bandwidth requirements simply do not justify building its own Internet backbone. Whatever your politics are, the NBN is just stupid.