Sat, 28 Nov 2020

Andanar backs ISDB-T use for distance learning

Philippine Information Agency
18 Oct 2020, 00:38 GMT+10

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Oct. 17 (PIA)--Emphasizing the advantages of Integrated Services Digital Broadcast Terrestrial (ISDB-T), Presidential Communications Secretary and Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security (CORDS)-X Martin Andanar said such could aid in enhancing teaching methods in the new normal.

During the CORDS-X Podcast tonight, Oct. 17, Andanar said he plans to meet with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT)-10 and National Telecommunications Commission (NTC)-10 to discuss the use of ISDB-T in time of the approval of the Government Communications Academy.

Andanar said the academy will have television and radio stations, and classrooms to teach the information officers. "The ISDB-T could be a possible joint project with DICT so we can test the digital TV."

NTC-10 Regional Director Engr. Teodoro Buenavista said in one frequency of ISDB-T, there can be 10 programs or channels produced and such is apt for supporting the education of learners who are not physically present in classrooms.

The modality can also reduce traffic congestion since students will no longer need to commute on a daily basis.

For her part, DICT-10 RD Evamay Dela Rosa said, "ang DICT nag-embrace niining ISDB-T kay mas better ang reception ug quality. Maka-free up pud kini sa ubang frequency spectrum (DICT embraces the ISDB-T because it has better reception and quality. This could also free up other frequency spectrum)."

Dela Rosa added that even Japan uses the ISDB-T during emergencies to communicate to their people.

To gain support and with the help of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA)-10, Buenavista said they have requested funding for the ISDB-T, "Ato lang gihulat karon (We are just waiting for) the approval for the funding requirements to establish an ISDBT station."

For current television sets, Buenavista said most of the modern sets used in households today are ISDB-T ready. Thus, it is not difficult to use the station when it is already approved.

For sets which are not yet ISDB-T ready, a box receiver could be use such as those utilized by GMA and ABS-CBN.

Aid to DepEd-10

Because of lack of telecommunications towers, DICT-10 released the Common Tower Policy, which seeks to widen the base of tower providers to fast-track the deployment of Shared Passive Telecommunications Tower Infrastructure (PTTIs) across all regions of the country, especially in the unserved and underserved areas.

Such is also done since DICT has noted problems and difficulties on obtaining permits. The department also streamlined guidelines to speed up release of permits once applications for towers are submitted.

For their part, Buenavista said after evaluation, about 465 out of the 2,022 barangays in the region have no access to the internet or 23 percent. "We initiated for the streamlining. We encouraged the LGUs through the RDC-10 to streamline the process since this is what we found out."

There are 398 live sites in Region 10 of which 140 are in Misamis Oriental, Bukidnon (107), Misamis Occidental (63), Lanao del Norte (61), Camiguin (27).

Most of the sites are established in hospitals and rural health units with 130, state universities and colleges with 127, town plazas with 75, and LGU halls with 40. Only few sites were established in elementary schools.

Dela Rosa said aside from the 398 live WiFi sites, they are working on the 148 additional sites for this year and they are requesting for more than 1,500 sites for the provinces of the region for 2021.

This month, the Regional Development Network will install a fiber optic cable in Cagayan de Oro, providing fast internet connection to the government offices in the city by next year. (RTP/PIA10)

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