USAID, in collaboration with the Philippines’ Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP), convened national and local government decision makers, industry players and experts, and civil society organizations to share experiences and best practices in addressing internet connectivity issues and to discuss policies on ICT governance, financing, and investment.
Two USAID projects, Better Access and Connectivity (BEACON) and Cities for Enhanced Governance and Engagement (CHANGE) organized the event entitled “Improving Broadband Internet Connectivity in Cities and LGUs” on September 28, 2022, at the Makati Diamond Residences in Makati City. More than 150 in-person attendees and about 600 virtual attendees composed of local chief executives from the nine USAID Cities Development Initiative (CDI) partner cities and other local government units (LGUs) across the country, representatives from DICT, DILG, and LCP learned from panel discussions on how internet connectivity contributes to better and responsive governance; challenges and solutions to achieve high-speed broadband internet; and financing options for ICT infrastructure.
The conference highlighted the role of LGUs as drivers of connectivity demand championing policy and administrative actions so that the internet may reach underserved and unserved areas. It also served as a venue for the LGUs to network with internet service providers, many of which were in attendance such as PLDT, Globe, Converge, Philippine Cable and Telecommunications Association, Kacific, Intelsat, Hughes, and SpaceX.
Affordable and secure internet access paves the way for fast growing economies by allowing the government to deliver basic services to a greater number of people, creating more opportunities for businesses and employment, and boosting investment for local industries.