As we revisited the history of ICT in our country, we have found out that we are one of the countries with highest digital populations in the world and our internet user growth rate has no signs of slowing down.
This further shows that communications and connections are valued by most of us and it plays a key role in achieving our goals, especially now that we are in the advent of the 4th Industrial Revolution. As we celebrate this year’s National ICT Month, let us explore Why Information and Communications Technology and moving it forward play a key role in the Philippines’ Digital Transformation.
Importance of Investing in ICT
It is critical for every country to invest in Information and Communications Technology to improve the way we live through seamless and connectivity to the information of the world anytime and anywhere.
Why does the Philippine Government Invest in ICT Infrastructure?
- Interconnect the Country
- Even Out Social Opportunities
- Raise Overall Living Standards
- Attain Global Competitiveness
The Philippines’ Current ICT Sector Stakeholders
The current ICT sector in the Philippines is comprised of Mobile Operators, Local-Exchange, Inter-carrier Service Providers, International Gateway Facility (IFG) Operators, Value-Added Service (VAS) Providers
Assessment of ICT Deployment and Use
- Service Coverage 94.7%
- Cellular Mobile Telephone Service (CMTS) 53.9%
- Fiber-Based Backbone Network 50%
- Mobile Broadband Internet Services 80%
Over two billion text messages (sending and receiving) are being handled daily by cellular mobile operators.
- Philippines’ average download speed is at 2.34mbps (72nd in worldwide download speed).
- Philippine’s average upload speed is at 0.65mpbs (65th in worldwide upload speed).
- There are 40,000 to 50,000 registered Internet cafes in the country.
- There are approximately more than 10,000 WiFi hotspots in the country.
- The country’s social networking penetration rate is at 83.1 percent.
- Community e-Center (CeC) Program has successfully connected over 1,200 communities to the Internet.
Some Gaps in Philippine ICT Infrastructure We Can Help Improve
- Gaps in communications and information access/services, particularly, low coverage, penetration, and uptake of Internet and broadband.
- Rate of catch-up differs among the types of ICT services and their deployment across the regions.
- Both coverage and subscription for the Internet are still lagging.
- Availability and level of ICT infrastructure and services, especially between major urban centers and rural areas are inconsistent.
- The legal and regulatory environment may not be as conducive for investments in ICT infrastructure.
- Inadequate competition and level playing field for the provision of ICT infrastructure and services.
- Lack of “Green ICT” policies and initiatives.
- The greater challenge on how to make services accessible to a larger market base.
- Inadequate infrastructure support for e-Government system.
- The current structure of government information networks and the state of the e-government system are inadequate.
- Lack of appropriate infrastructure, technical features, and interface.
- Fragmented development of government ICT applications.
Philippine Local Strategic Plans and Focus
1. To provide fast, reliable, and affordable access to communications services and information. Provide incentives to facilitate ICT infrastructure investments, particularly in the rural and unserved areas.
- Establish a sustainable Community e-Center (CeC) Program.
- Implement measures to ensure the security and privacy of data in a network and the transmission infrastructure.
2. To cultivate an enabling environment to further attract and sustain private sector investments in ICT infrastructure development.
- Establishment of the Department of Information and Communications Technology
- Strengthening of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC)
- Competition Policy for the ICT Sector
- Reassessment of Republic Act No. 7925 or the “Public Telecommunications Policy Act of the Philippines, 1995
- Convergence Bill / Information and Communications Policy Act
- Frequency Spectrum Management
- Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Reform
- Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) Broadcasting switchover
- “Green ICT” Policies
3. To achieve increased transparency, efficiency, and trust in Government through enhancement of e-government systems.
- Enhance e-government portals including the online payment facility
- Secure data center and public key infrastructure (PKI) system for government transactions
- Promote e-government applications at the LGU level
- Pursue Interoperability of information systems across government bodies
As part of our commitment to empowering innovative Filipino entrepreneurs, We at MEC Networks Corporation serve as a supporting entity that will help the country invest in a better future with ICT.