ASEAN officials discuss broadband internet cooperation

VIENTIANE-- Representatives of the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) met Thursday in Lao capital Vientiane to share information and experiences on broadband internet in the region in support of strategic regional cooperation.

The workshop brought together officials from the Lao Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications (MPT) and more than 40 participants from ASEAN members as well as ICT specialists and experts from the region, local daily Vientiane Times reported on Friday.

Among the objectives of the workshop was to report on the progress of ASEAN Broadband Corridor and to identify the areas for future strategic regional cooperation as well as to institutionalize the framework within ASEAN ICT Masterplan 2020.

The workshop was held as part of the ASEAN Broadband Strategy Project and supported under the ASEAN ICT Fund, which had been approved during the 15th Telecommunications Ministerial Meeting in 2015.

"As the digital era is evolving fast, we are now embracing broadband as the key for future growth. To provide ubiquitous broadband access for users, countries around the world including ASEAN countries such as Laos are making continued efforts to ensure seamless access through a variety of means," Director General of Department Information and Technology of Laos Thavisak Manodham said, adding that it is important to strengthen infrastructure development, capacity building, and ensure design policy has been well informed.

For Laos, a land-locked country, policymakers consider broadband connectivity a priority concern to help convert the country from one that is land-locked to land-linked.

The comment, discussion and result of this workshop would enhance cooperation and provide recommendations on best practices for broadband development for ASEAN countries, the official was quoted by Vientiane Times as saying.

As for Laos, the outcome is also expected to indirectly contribute to policy planning for ICT infrastructure development in rural areas and further promote the use of internet for individuals and organizations for their advancement and that of the nation and region.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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