Monday, December 11, 2023

Expert says PH must manage spectrum well to accelerate digital revolution

An expert on spectrum management said the Philippines should handle its telecommunication frequencies effectively in order to accelerate digital and economic revolution in the country.

Scott Minehane, an Australia-based international regulatory and strategy lawyer, stated during a congressional forum that telecom spectrum is a valuable and non-exhaustible public resource.

He said that the Philippines has the same amount of spectrum as other countries, but it is up to the country to take full advantage and harness its possibilities.

The Open Access in Data Transmission Act, which has been approved by the House of Representatives but is still pending in the Senate, has a provision to make more spectrum available for Internet service.

Minehane issued advice during a forum organized on Tuesday, Aug. 29, by the Committee on Information and Communications Technology (ICT) of the House of Representatives.

The event, titled “Spectrum Gold Rush — Charting the Path to Digital Transformation in the Philippines” was conducted in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The forum, which was organized under the USAID’s Better Access and Connectivity (BEACON) Project, provided an overview of the radio frequency spectrum, its significance in creating a connected and technologically advanced country, and identified gaps and challenges.

Committee Affairs Bureau executive director Lina Mortega, in delivering the welcome remarks of committee vice-chairperson and Davao Oriental representative Cheeno Miguel Almario, stated that understanding spectrum management and embracing its progressive policies can set off a chain reaction of ICT private sector investments, catalyze digital transformations, and lay the groundwork for embracing emerging technologies, such as AI, IoT (Internet of Things), and 5G.

Also present during the forum were BEACON Project chief of party John Garrity, USAID Economic Growth specialist John Avila, and USAID Policy Reform and Advocacy lead Jose Gerardo Alampay.


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