APEC meet seeks to improve ICT in region

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DELEGATES from across the globe gathered in Boracay last week to discuss how to help improve the development of their respective economies’ information and communications technology (ICT) at the APECTEL51 event.

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The APECTEL51 event was a week-long conference where member economies came up with policies and projects that aim to improve the interoperability of technology and connectivity within the APEC regions.

The conference began with each member economy presenting the current situation of their ICT efforts before the APEC chair and heads of the delegates. The members were then divided into three different steering groups —the Liberalization Steering Group (LSG), Development Steering Group (DSG) and Security and Prosperity Steering Group (SPSG) — each specializing in a certain ICT aspect.

The LSG held a regulatory roundtable wherein various economies presented ICT-related projects.

Indonesia, an LSG member, presented about Over-the-Top (OTT) applications and services and their impact to licensed network operators and the market. Responses were then given after the presentation on how to regulate the OTT issue.

“OTT is an inevitable part of globalization; government should embrace OTT players and operators to discover solutions for the region. Afterward, government should seek new approaches on how they regulate and share equal treatment between operator and industry to create an appropriate policy in supporting healthy competition,” the LSG concluded.

Meanwhile, DSG members discussed how to develop different ICT projects to be able to deliver services efficiently.

Delegates from Vietnam talked about the deployment of IPV6 and related it to the readiness of the other APEC economies to utilize this type of technology.

The DSG also held workshops wherein they discussed projects that concern the Internet of Things (IoT), or how the Internet can be incorporated in everyday life.

“IoT is creating a revolutionary and global information economy that can benefit governments, businesses and individuals, which will also impact and influence all sectors, promoting the upgrade of the traditional industries,” the group said

SPSG, the last group, discussed how to keep the ICT environment safe. Countries like the Philippines reported on how defining cybersecurity and its framework is essential in today’s digital and internet economy.

It also conducted workshops on disaster risk reduction and management wherein members shared their insights on using ICT for disaster management and disaster response and recovery.

Various schemes such as Project DINA (Disaster Information for Nationwide Awareness) and Project NOAH were cited by the delegates as prime examples of using ICT for disaster mitigation and preparedness.

The group said there is a need to rationalize all plans and examine the mandates of agencies responsible for disaster risk reduction and management to ensure that programs converge and synchronize with the overall agenda for national development.

After the steering groups finished their respective workshops and meetings, each group presented all of their responses and findings to the delegates. All of the insights provided by the delegates will aid in forming a feasible work and action plan for the upcoming APECTEL projects.

The APECTEL was created to help aid those regions who need to catch up with the technological advancements of other regions.

Catherine Talavera

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