Open Access to Data Transmission Act needed to accelerate digitalization

Access to data and information is increasingly becoming more important as society accelerates transition to the digital world.  To meet ever the increasing demand for digitalization, a robust digital infrastructure is needed.

 

This is where the proposed bill on Open Access in Data Transmission Act becomes more urgent - to spur the development of new information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure that will pave the way for the digital economy.

 

With international ratings citing the Philippines as among the slowest and most expensive in Asia when it comes to internet services, building up the country’s digital infrastructure should now also become a national priority.  More so now with the COVID-19 pandemic accelerating the transition to digital – from work from home, to remote education, fintech, e-government, telemedicine - where social-distancing, quarantine, lockdowns, and a ban on mass gatherings is part of the “new normal.”

 

A strong digital infrastructure is also seen to help alleviate povery and help the economy bounce back.

 

The proposed Open Access in Data Transmission Act seeks to lower barriers to market entry, fast-track and lower the cost of deploying broadband facilities, and make more spectrum available for Internet service.  These changes will also help the internet industry in the country as well as the expected increase in industry competition will hopefully lead to innovation, expanded access, improved services in general, and enable millions more Filipinos to adapt to the new normal by participating in the digital economy in the years to come.

 

With the bill currently pending in both houses of Congress, it is at least assuring that this concern is being given the much needed attention it deserves. The Philippines needs to catch up to the rest of the modern world in order to keep our economy, and most especially our citizens, competitive in this ever changing world.  Especially one moving faster and faster into the digital realm.

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