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Expanding Myanmar Web Accessibility | The Myanmar Times
Myanmar's web traffic in 2010 was less than 0.3 percent of the Myanmar populace, or 130,000 people. In 2013, a World Bank-financed telecoms reform program resulted in two privately held telecoms providers entering into competition with the state-owned Myanmar Post and Telecommunications. The 22 million subscribers in the 22 million countries have cause for hope with the advent of a 4th carrier in 2016 and the possible upgrading of part of the current infrastructure to LTE (4G-Speed Internet).
Myanmar's telecoms sector is still in the process of being adopted and has set an aggressive goal of ensuring fast broadband for 50 per-cent of its population by 2020. In the area of general services, the government is hoping to expand its cover to 94.8% of the total by the first three months of 2019.
Whilst the administration says its goals are likely to be achieved, measures are needed to make sure that the most vulnerable - females and urban populations - are not lagging behind. Though Myanmar's level of livelihoods has decreased over the years, according to the latest revision estimates, 38% of the total population is female.
It is unlikely that a woman will use the web unless certain measures are taken to make sure they can get low-cost online and know how to use it efficiently. In Myanmar, the two major causes why Myanmar woman do not own a portable unit or cannot connect to the web are a shortage of affordable and supposedly inappropriate.
Increasing women's accessibility and technological capabilities are key obstacles that need to be overcame. Myanmar's authorities have recommended that at least 50% of the funding for accessing general services (through tax charged by telecoms operators) be allocated to programs and initiatives to connect them to the web and ensure greater e-competence - a proposal first made by the Alliance for Affordable Interoperability (A4AI), a civic group.
It is vital to supplement the government's effort to make the Web more affordable and connected and to maintain its impact in the years to come. Analysts expect the Myanmar telecom industry to grow more slowly over the next five years as it becomes more mature. There is still a very undeveloped and undeveloped landline network access markets, mainly due to the huge expansion and spread of wireless equipment and the unwillingness of carriers to afford to invest it.
Today's ISPs are serving more businesses than homes to meet the high costs of providing them. People' s action groups in other parts of Asia, such as WiFi local authority hot spots and community centers providing governance and commercial support to isolated and peasant communities, have not yet started in Myanmar.
The telecommunications infrastructures sector faces further pressing issues, such as the difficulty of gaining rights of way (RoW) due to complex legislation on the use of arable land and the new bill on the registering of documents. Myanmar's failure to standardize the infrastructural deployment processes and the need for a unique windowshare for rowh mean that the ability to deliver quicker, more secure and more accessible wireless access to Myanmar is being wasted.
It' s also noteworthy that Myanmar's present telecoms bill of 2013 is quite restricted in terms of citizens' on-line freedoms. In recognition of the government's ongoing effort, courageous policy measures must be taken to address the Myanmar DID and make broader-accessible. This could involve a revision of the Telecommunication Act to bring it closer to the people.
It could be an efficient tool to improve Myanmar's socio-economic performance and strengthen the country's telecommunications companies. It should also seek to provide a more favourable regulation framework for the development of telecommunications infrastructures than that of a general supplier. That could provide an incentive for investments in infrastructures and new technology.
A further prioritisation is the elaboration of a policy of open accessibility to achieve the unattainable, in particular through the use of various incentive systems to promote greater use of the web by womens and the most disadvantaged in Myanmar. Wideband should be seen as a means of improving people's QoL and their capacity to conserve resources, saving a lot of valuable resources in their everyday lifes.
Myanmar's governments, the affluent sectors and civic societies have an important role to play in guaranteeing careful investments and continuous innovations in Myanmar's telecommunications area. It is only together that the government's ambitions for universally accessible and accessible broadband can be achieved. He is Asia Co-ordinator at the Alliance for Sustainable Web.