The Information and Communications Technology Office of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-ICT Office) and Microsoft Philippines recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on collaboration and support for the adoption of TV White Space Technologies (TVWS) in the country.

The agreement signed at the recently concluded National ICT Summit highlights the involvement of the two parties in the utilization of TVWS technologies to address connectivity issues in unserved areas of the country as well as provide data connectivity for essential government services.

The DOST ICT-Office 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.

DOST Undersecretary Louis Casambre of the ICT Office said that, “We are pleased that the private sector is supportive of our TVWS program, as we definitely need them in helping the 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.”

Microsoft Philippines Managing Director Kathrina Ilagan commented on how TVWS can serve as a low cost solution in bringing connectivity among communities or 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. 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.” Ms Ilagan said.

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

About DOST-ICT Office – The Information and Communications Technology Office of the Department of Science and Technology is the Philippine Government’s lead agency on ICT related matters. Its primary thrusts are in the ICT Industry Development, eGovernment, ICT policy development, Internet for all and Cybersecurity.

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ICTO and Microsoft Ink Agreement for TVWS Adoption
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.