The Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) held their very first stakeholder forum in Asia today, in Yangon, Myanmar. The forum was richly attended by Government, Civil Society, Mobile Service Providers, Media and Researchers. LIRNEasia was also invited to attend, as an important player in Myanmar’s ICT area. The forum was graced briefly by the Hon. Deputy Minister of Communication and Information Technology U. Thaung Tin.
For all those of us who are keen to see the development of mobile access in Myanmar, it was encouraging to have the presence and support of the Government today. To underscore this commitment from the Government, a MoU was signed with the A4AI to officially mark the start of the collaborative work between the stakeholders.
At the end of the stakeholder discussions, the following priority areas were identified as those that deserve priority attention in working towards attaining A4AI’s goal of affordable broadband for all;
- Smart infrastructure sharing
- Effective spectrum allocation
- Data Collection
- Universal Service Funds (USFs)
LIRNEasia is already working on Data Collection. The household level, nationwide, baseline survey that is currently underway in Myanmar will no doubt produce some interesting findings which would be of great importance to the stakeholders who were present at today’s event.
The coalition that was formed today is envisaged to meet every quarter, and collaborate online prior to that, to examine the progress achieved in each of these identified priority areas.