Discussions with several stakeholders led by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and higher education institutions (HEIs) have begun to find ways to utilize unused TV frequencies for distance learning.
DOST has coordinated with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), Department of Education (DepEd), DOST Advanced Science and Technology Institute (DOST-ASTI), DOST-Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI), and the DOST - Science and Technology Information Institute (DOST-STII)
This initiative is part of the directive of the President in his State of the Nation Address (SONA).
DOST Secretary Fortunato del Pena said that a multi-modal approach will be explored to match the needs of the locality and to address challenges such as limited or no internet access in many public schools as well as limited and uneven penetration of digital, cable and analog TV in rural areas.
The group agreed to use several research outputs and technologies from DOST-funded projects in the utilization of TV frequencies for public good. Examples of which are the Community Cellular Networks (CCN)/cocomonets project, use of TV white space and related studies on its current use and future potentials, and DOST coursewares developed by SEI.
For example, some areas can use TV white space while CCN may be applicable in other areas.
Computerized learning modules in mathematics and science by the DOST were adopted last June by the DepEd through a project undertaken by the DOST-SEI.
The computerized learning modules in math are from grades 1 to 8 while learning modules for science are from grades 7 and 8. DOST said that these materials are Filipino-produced multimedia software to assist teachers and learners in the new delivery mode for distance and blended learning.
TV White Space was a DOST project through its Information and Communication Technology Office (ICTO). DOST’s TV White Space Projects is DOST-ICTO ‘s initiative to deploy new wireless data communication standards, such as the unused TV channels in ultra high frequency (UHF) and very high frequency (VHF) bands. Apart from providing Internet access to rural communities, TV White Space technologies can also be used to support government projects requiring data connectivity.
DOST-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD) will lead in developing a program that will demonstrate and execute an amateur TV station that can be deployed in the remote regions. Resources available in other government agencies and the private sector will also be tapped to support this initiative.