MANILA, Philippines – An international information communications technology (ICT) advocate said that Asia Pacific governments should already start discussing policy frameworks that should be put in place to allow the establishment of Television White Space (TVWS) Internet technology infrastructure in their respective countries.
TVWS refers to the vacant frequencies located between broadcast TV channels which could be used to provide wireless data connectivity to remote communities. TVWS Internet makes use of the “White Space” or the unused frequency in between channels to accommodate Internet band with connectivity.
Akhtar Badshah, chairman of the Telecentre.org Foundation which is promoting the search for the use of the Internet to generate opportunities for the widest section of the world’s population, said that lawmakers and policymakers should look at putting in place the regulatory framework to support TVWS Internet infrastructure and systems establishment in the different countries in the region, to make internet access more accessible especially to still unserved areas in their respective countries.
“It’s a great invention, its a great technology,” Badshah said in his address at the opening Sept. 10 of the two-day Asia Pacific Economic Conference (APEC) Digital Opportunity Center (ADOC) International Conference: the 10th Year Presentation, at the Dusit Thani Hotel in the Ayala central business district in Makati City.
Badshah said that the ADOC International Conference was one such venue for such discussions on the setting up of the regulatory framework in the APEC member economies to support TVWS Internet systems establishment.
Badshah pointed out in his presentation that tackled “Shaping the Future of Digital Economy through Partnership”, that while there were already huge strides being made on making Internet connectivity accessible in the different APEC member economies, the issue that should be given focus was how the economies were making use of the connectivity.
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“Today, we do not question if the poor person can have access, we don’t really argue that point anymore. The question is, if he has access, then what will he do with that access?,” Badshah asked.
Badshah’s organization, Telecentre.org Foundation is a global organization of telecenters that aims to promote personal and social development through communication technology training and relevant initiatives directed to people living in remote or rural locations around the world. These telecenters provide public access to internet and other digital technologies, making it convenient for Filipinos to work, chat or engage with their friends wherever they are.
Badshah is currently the senior director of Citizenship and Public Affairs of global software giant Microsoft, where he administers the company’s global community investment and employee programs. One of Microsofts programs, Microsoft YouthSpark, aims to empower youth to imagine and realize their full potential by connecting them with greater opportunities for education, employment, and entrepreneurship. Through YouthSpark, Microsoft aims to create opportunities for 300 million young people around the world over the next three years.
The Department of Science and Technology-Information Communications Technology Office spearheaded Manila’s hosting of the ADOC International Conference 2014 this week.
The DOST-ICTO is also spearheading the Philippine government’s move for the nationwide establishment of TVWS Internet technology by next year. This effort is said to be the biggest “pilot effort” in Asia to install TVWS Internet infrastructure and systems.
DOST Undersecretary Louis Napoleon Casambre, ICTO executive director, said that the TWVS Internet project is expected initially to provide connectivity to all government agencies-from local government units and regional offices of the different national government agencies all over the country, particularly those in far-flung municipalities with no Internet services.
The TVWS Internet infrastructure also plans to set up free wifi zones in the different municipalities to provide Internet access to the people in these “unserved” areas.