News and Events

Enhancing Connectivity and Economic Development in the Philippines

Posted: 2014-06-11
Category: Events
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National Telecommunciations Commissioner, Gamaliel Cordoba, giving the opening remarks.

 

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On June 9, 2014, the Asian institute of Management (AIM) Policy Center, together with Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy of National University of Singapore and Microsoft, hosted a forum entitiled "Enhancing Connectivity and Economic Development in the Philippines: Opportunites from TV White Spaces" at the TPIC-Bancom Room, 3/F Asian Institute of Management.

The forum centered on the use of TV white spaces, frequencies or channels set aside for television broadcasting which are unused, for nationwide Internet provision. The speakers and reactors were widely represented: Philippine policymakers, media, industry representatives, civil society stakeholders and online communities here and abroad. Louis Casambre, Executive Director of DOST-ICTO, Jeffrey Yan, Director of Technology Policy, Microsoft (Asia Pacific) and many more discussed the opportunities for using TVWS technologies to enhance connectivity and economic development especially in the provinces. The provision of Internet access to far-reached schools and the improvement and ease of the daily living of rural communities were two of the countless benefits and developments presented. However, it is not without its setbacks. The technology is constrained by the law that no single entity can be both a telecommunications and media provider. The speakers advised that the law was outdated and necessary legislative action should be taken for the matter. They are pushing for the government to create a policy framework that governs and regulates the right environment for the market of TVWS technology to exist.

The event was timely given the devastating effects of the earthquake in Bohol and Typhoon Yolanda in Tacloban. Damages could have been mitigated if there was fast, accessible, and affordable information during the time. Aid and relief efforts could have also been more efficient if relief workers had access to the internet. Moreover, this can possibly narrow the rampant digital divide present in our society today.

 

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