Sunday, June 28, 2015

NICT Summit 2015: Meaningful Discussions on Government ICT Updates


Wazzup Pilipinas!
Senator Bam Aquino is asking why we seem to be advancing in information and communication technology (ICT) but still have slow Internet infrastructures. During the National Information and Communication Technology Summit 2015 (NICT Summit 2015) held last June 23 and 24 at Hotel Intercontinental Manila, several attendees mostly coming from ICT departments of government agencies were given updates regarding ICT projects happening within the government, and how private corporations and ICT vendors are partnering towards a digital Philippines.

A national Information and Communication Technology (ICT) policy seeks to establish a transparent and accountable government through the expansion of ICT and its multifaceted use ensuring skilled human resource development.

The policy also aims to enhance the standards of citizen service through the comprehensive and effective use of ICT which is now the major medium of development.

Governments around the world take ICT development seriously due to its many economic potentials.

Developing the ICT and telecom sector should be a key imperative for the present government and authorities. They should take multiple initiatives to improve the required infrastructure, and that would require partnering with the private entities.

Among these endeavors is a roadmap on ICT and telecom sector that aims to make broadband internet accessible for all, combat cyber crime, and create job opportunities in the ICT sector.

The aim to boost internet speed all over the country may not happen immediately if the government will be so lenient with the penalties to the telcos who constantly find ways to "limit" our online access capabilities. The Free-Internet-For-All project discussed during the NICT Summit 2015 was designed not to compete with the telcos' Internet access service because it will only offer latency/speeds up to 256 kbps.
In order to effectively streamline the process of implementing national ICT strategies and to realize the goals of digitizing the country entirely, a high level of commitment would be required from all implementing agencies and stakeholders.

There were several interesting talks that would warrant separate blog articles. I will write about them more elaborately soon.

Senator Juan Edgardo Angara again mentioned how poor our Internet speed ("mabagal at di mapagkatiwalaan na Internet service sa bansa") and stating that we are placed at the 176th position out of 202 countries according to the Ookla household download index. "Hindi po natin pwedeng ipagmalaki 'to" according to Angara. Even being at the 19th place for viewing the most Internet porn is a shameful recognition.

Amusing that even the issue about the Valkyrie dance club regarding its antiquated "No Crossdressing Policy" was also mentioned to stress how viral issues similar to it are more prominent online.

"Hell hath no fury like a person whose gender identity has been scorned and whose Twitter account has many followers" Angara said on his speech.

It is clearly evident that Filipinos are more inclined to make similar topics trending rather than talk about more critical issues pertaining to national infrastructure development.

As a telco company, what has PLDT really have done to encourage utilization of services over the Internet? There's 46K public schools out there but only 17% are accessible via Internet.

What is PLDT doing to address the lack of broadband infrastructure, and with regards to the Internet speed that is not at par with our neighbors?

Isn't it alarming that all our moves to make the telcos accountable for their shortcomings are always never seeing the light of day?

This is a challenge to all telcos, and the government agencies responsible in implementing NICT projects. Shape up or shame on you!

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