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Phl gov't, Microsoft partner to boost TV White Space tech

DOST-ICT Office Executive Director Louis Casambre (left) and Microsoft Philippines Managing Director Kathrina Capellan Ilagan hold up the Memorandum of agreement between the two organizations on support of TV White Space adoption in the Philippines.

MANILA, Philippines -- In the attempt to resolve connectivity issues in unserved areas in the country as well as provide data connectivity for essential public services, the Philippine government and software giant Microsoft team up to advance the adoption of TV White Space Technologies (TVWS).

Both the Information and Communications Technology Office of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-ICTO) and Microsoft Philippines recently signed a memorandum of understanding on collaboration and support for the adoption of TVWS in the country.

According to DOST Undersecretary Louis Casambre of ICTO, the government definitely needs the support of the private sector in helping to narrow the digital divide.

"Microsoft in particular has been on board from the very start and we are pleased to have formalized this partnership on TVWS," Casambre said.

Kathrina Ilagan, Managing Director of Microsoft Philippines, said TVWS can serve as a low cost solution connectivity among communities or serve to complement existing Internet services provided by telecommunication companies.

"With TV White Space, more people will have access to information which can lead them to learn or facilitate their livelihood more effectively," Ilagan said. "Locals especially those living in remote areas will not need to travel long distances just to claim their birth certificates or business permits. The TV White Space technology, in this era that has become more connectivity-centric than ever, will serve as people’s bridge towards a better life."

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The Philippines is only the fourth country in the world to have a government-initiated program for TVWS, following Singapore, South Africa and Kenya.

The DOST ICTO launched its TV White Space Initiative last year to find ways of maximizing unutilized TV frequencies for data communications, such as those needed for government services such as e-learning, telehealth and telemedicine, environmental sensors such as those used by the DOST’s NOAH project, as well as provide basic internet access for areas outside commercial telco coverage.

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