PN 2021-07: Bridging the Digital Infrastructure Gap: Policy Options for Connecting Filipinos
by Mary Grace Mirandilla-Santos
Several studies have shown that increasing internet penetration can improve economic growth and income levels. However, in the Philippines, the digital infrastructure's reliability, affordability, and security remain an issue. This has become more apparent during the pandemic as inadequate information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure widened the digital divide. This Policy Note analyzes the infrastructure gap and digital divide from a supply-constrained lens. Specifically, this study looks at the level of access of communities (barangays) and households to ICT infrastructures and services. The study notes that outdated laws have stifled the growth of internet service providers. Hence, the government should remove regulatory barriers and expand market opportunities to enable players to invest, build, and innovate. It also recommends that the government's digital infrastructure investments be targeted and limited to network segments and areas where the market fails to deliver. Click here to download the policy note.