Oct 202014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2007/03/07MANILA682.html#

Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MANILA682 2007-03-01 06:48 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Manila
VZCZCXRO1127
OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #0682 0600648
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 010648Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5473
INFO RUEHZS/ASEAN COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
UNCLAS MANILA 000682

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EB/CIP AND EAP/MTS
USDOC FOR 4430/ITA/MAC/ SBERLINGUETTE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON ECPS ETRD EINV RP
SUBJECT: Telecom Policy Workshop Inspires Participants

REF: 06 STATE 19352

¶1. Summary: At a telecommunication workshop for Malaysian and
Filipino participants, U.S. experts discussed the regulatory and
financial innovations used to deliver broadband to remote parts of
the United States. The benefits of universal broadband motivated
policy-makers to approach legislators about funding and to plan a
trip to further examine our model. End summary.

¶2. Officials from State, USDA, and FCC, and a telecommunications
consultant held a two-day workshop in Manila in late January for
telecommunications regulators and policy makers from Malaysia and
the Philippines. The experts used the U.S. experience in broadband
delivery as a universal service template that could be modified for
Malaysia and the Philippines. Presenters informed the group of
methods to leverage government funding through public-private
partnerships, outlined criteria for funding eligibility, and the
uses of broadband to enable everything from remote heart surgery to
teaching foreign languages.

¶3. Commission on Information and Communications Technology Chairman
Ramon Sales was particularly interested in the U.S. funding
mechanism. After the workshop, he asked the Congressional Committee
Telecommunications Chairman to set aside two billion pesos ($38
million) in annual telecom tax revenues to bring broadband service
to families with children in school. Although the congressman
rejected the proposal due to the budget deficit, Sales is committed
to finding a legislative advocate and re-submitting his proposal
after May’s elections.

¶4. Another attendee, Commissioner Lorenzo Formoso is keen on
learning more on how the U.S. model can translate to policy in the
Philippines. Formoso is seeking Philippine government funding to
travel to the U.S. in support of Chairman Sales’ objective of
solidifying a universal funding model to present to the next
Philippine Congress for action.

¶5. National Telecommunications Commission staff characterized the
workshop as “well presented by experts in their fields” and
commented that collecting universal funds could pave the way to
develop communications in rural areas, some of which lack telephone
lines. The regulator’s Chief of Staff Venepi Canta came from the
President’s staff and has never traveled to the United States. Econ
will nominate this promising attorney for the International Visitors
Program.

Advocating for HDTV Standard
—————————-

¶6. At the workshop, FCS and Econoffs pulled aside the regulator’s
Deputy Commissioner Jaime Fortes to advocate for the U.S. ATSC
standard, since the Philippines is in the process of deciding on a
standard for digital television. Fortes said, “My country has been
happy with the U.S. analog television standard for 50 years.” He
does not see a reason to select the European or Japanese standard
for digital television. However, Filipino private sector
broadcasters favor the European system.

Kenney

   

 

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