Wired! Philippines



The Internet's 10 Most Influential Filipinos

Rodolfo Villarica

Dr. Rodolfo Villarica is the founding president of PHNet, Inc. (Philippine Network Foundation), a consortium of institutions which established and operates the Philippine-wide area computer network with access to Internet called PHNet.

Why he's influential.

The Internet's
10 Most Influential

    The Survey


Villarica was instrumental in building the infrastructure that allowed the country to have access to the Internet. PHNet was created in 1993 with the support of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Industrial Research Foundation (IRF). Phase 1 linked the DOST, Ateneo de Manila University, De la Salle University, and UP Diliman. The coverage later was enlarged to 10 members, with 64 Kbps leased line connections set up among its members and full access to the Internet established to the US. PHNet has since grown considerably to include over 50 different organizations in the major cities in the Philippines.

Visions for the Net.
Villarica's vision, and that of PHNet, is expressed on the PHNet Web site: "PHNet envisions a Philippine Information Superhighway, operating around several national backbones (i.e., one for government, one for schools, and one for commercial establishments). While each is dedicated to its specific purpose, all will be interconnected to one another for immediate access from within our geographic boundaries."

"We see this superhighway linking to the world via a number of international gateway routes: an ASEAN-wide loop to connect all the members within the region, independent connections to the US via existing telecom companies which will most likely join the Internet bandwagon, leading ISPs with wide bandwidths and PHNet's multiple-wide bandwidth connections."

"PHNet's mission is to provide Internet access to 2000 schools by the year 2000 with the best Internet infrastructure at the lowest possible cost. Using the Internet as an educational tool and resource in upgrading the Philippine human resource development to global competitiveness constitute PHNet's major contribution to the country's IT sector growth."


This article by Janette Toral, Franchette Soriano, Emir Samonte, Anthony Rola and Carlos Gonzales was published in The Web Philippines January/February 1999 issue. WIRED! Philippines thanks TWP editor-in-chief Heinz Bulos for giving us permission to republish the article.

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