To date, the ASEAN region has been home to three successful attempts to establish broadband networks using “TV White Space”, or empty space in the broadcast frequency spectrum. As a result, telecommunications regulators and policy makers from around the region are now considering their approaches to the governance frameworks that will need to be established in order to allow the technology to be rolled out more broadly. To help decision makers learn more about the successful trials and to help them frame the decisions that will need to be made, Integra designed and facilitated the ASEAN-sponsored Wireless Broadband and Dynamic Frequency Allocation Conference, held 7-8 September 2015 in Vientiane, Lao PDR. Thirty-two regulators and policy makers from nine ASEAN countries met for the conference, which was supported by USAID’s “ASEAN Connectivity through Trade and Investment” activity, on which Integra is a subcontractor to Nathan Associates.
The conference included discussions of the ASEAN TV White Space pilots, led by implementers from the governments of Indonesia and the Philippines, and by Microsoft’s Singapore office. It included a presentation on the fundamentals of the technology from the US Federal Communications Commission, and extensive participation by the Dynamic Spectrum Alliance. The meeting also provided a forum for participants to discuss policy, regulatory, financial, and business model conditions involved in bringing TVWS to scale serving rural populations.
The participants identified key themes in expanding TV White Space – including ensuring that all stakeholders were involved in discussions, and that spectrum policy was coordinated regionally. They will have the opportunity to continue to do just that, as a follow-up conference was been announced for October 19th-20th in Vietnam.