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Are you happy with your internet service? Is it among the best in the world? Not according to international ratings, which show the Philippines as among the slowest and most expensive in Asia. One of the biggest lessons of COVID-19 for all countries is the need for a pervasive and robust digital infrastructure. What lesson is the Philippines learning? What can we expect the country to do differently in the year ahead? More towers and cables? More service providers? Better broadband? Or will we continue to see "unstable connection" in Makati and students and teachers climbing mountains just to get a mobile signal in the provinces?
There is increasing awareness that coverage, quality and affordability of the digital infrastructure are immensely important for work from home, remote education, fintech, e-government, telemedicine, family bonding, and other essentials to meet the needs of all Filipinos. Digital connectivity is also crucial in order for the Philippine economy to bounce back. The proposed Open Access in Data Transmission Act, which will lower barriers to market entry, fast-track and lower the cost of deploying broadband facilities, and make more spectrum available for Internet service, is expected to increase competition, expand access, improve service, and enable millions more Filipinos to participate in the digital economy in the years to come.
The third installment of AmCham-RESPOND's Special Reform Legislation Discussion Series will be on July 16, 2020 from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM through Zoom. The Discussion will focus on the Open Access in Data Transmission Act pending in both chambers of Congress. With the bill currently pending in both houses of Congress, we have invited legislators, government officials, and experts who are actively involved in pursuing reforms in the ICT sector to provide an informative discussion on this much needed measure.
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