Philippines TV White Space (TVWS) intiative has been declared the winner of the second annual P3 Impact Award during the 2015 Concordia Summit in New York City.
A PPP intiative between Microsoft, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Philippines’ Department of Science and Technology’s Information and Communications Technology Office (DOST-ICTO) and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, it has been recognised as a model public-private partnership (P3).
TVWS technology – which uses vacant or unused TV broadcast channels to extend high-speed, wireless Internet access – is being applied to remote parts of the Philippines to help register thousands of fisherfolk in the Bohol province and to come up with plans for sustainable fishery use.
The Danajon Reef in Bohol province, which used to be home for the most biodiverse and productive marine areas in the Philippines, has seen a decline in fish population by 90 per cent due to overfishing over the past 50 years.
Registering the fisherfolk provided the information needed to create a sustainable fishery plan that protects marine life as also benefits the locals.
Established in 2014, TVWS connectivity helped register over 16,000 fisherfolk in the pilot municipalities, with almost 4,000 of these exclusively on this platform. Government counterparts are also using the new registration data now.
The PPP initiative provided, for the first time, free high-speed Internet access for 20,000 locals across several communities where public institutions like medical clinics and schools are able to provide improved services.
The winning TVWS partnership proved to be a successful case study in the Philippines and the government continues to expand its use in other locations with the goal of providing wireless Internet access to 99 per cent of the archipelago’s population.
“TV White Space Partnership in the Danajon Reef is highlighted in a special edition of the Darden School’s thought-leadership publication Darden Ideas to Action, provided at the Concordia Summit. The TV White Space Partnership in the Danajon Reef will also receive a full scholarship to attend a week-long Darden Executive Education course,” the US state department said in its statement.
The other award finalists included: Partners in Food Solutions-TechnoServe Alliance, The Nature Conservancy-Dow Chemical Company Collaboration, Madagascar: Improving Water and Sanitation Services to Low-Income Communities and US Global Development Lab’s Partnering to Accelerate Entrepreneurship (PACE) Initiative and VilCap Investments: Catalyzing Investment to Democratize Global Entrepreneurship.