Olongapo Telecom & Information Technology

Saturday, December 08, 2007

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Friday, December 07, 2007

Palace appoints new CICT commissioner

By Erwin Oliva - INQUIRER.net

Veteran information technology professional Monchito Ibrahim who has been a consultant to the Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) has finally been appointed as commissioner of the government body.

Ibrahim said he received his appointment papers Wednesday, and not Thursday as was reported earlier.

CICT commissioner Tim Diaz de Rivera confirmed this news earlier in a text message to INQUIRER.net.

"I will be in charge of the Cyberservices group, which takes care of the offshore and outsourcing industry," he said in a telephone interview. "Under this position I'm designated to take care of the Cyberservices corridor [project]."

The Cyberservices Services corridor is part of the super regions identified by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in her 2007 State of the Nation Address. These strategic areas in the Philippines have been identified as priority areas by government for support. These areas are also the hubs of offshore outsourcing investments in the country.

Ibrahim said he is also currently involved in the development of regional ICT organizations to encourage growth in the provinces. Ibrahim has been tasked as officer-in-charge by CICT chair Ray Anthony Roxas-Chua III who is leaving for the US soon.

Ibrahim said he has often been described as "acting commissioner" in the agency by his colleagues and staff because he has been actively helping the agency in his private capacity as a consultant since 2006.

The CICT is an interim policymaking body under the Office of the President, which is mandated to oversee the information and communications technology activities of government.

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Study says BPO firms should go where good schools are


MANILA, Philippines -- Business process outsourcing (BPO) firms should locate where good schools are, the head of a research firm said.

This was the suggestion made by Cayetano Paderanga Jr., chair of the Institute for Development and Economic Analysis (IDEA) on how the industry could find more people to run its fast-growing operations in the country.

IDEA has recently been commissioned by Bayan Business, the corporate solutions provider of Bayan Telecommunications Inc. (Bayantel), to conduct a study on the Philippine outsourcing and offshoring industry.

According to IDEA's study, the pool of skilled labor is being depleted due to "diminishing focus on improving educational systems and standards."

The continuing brain drain and attrition rate in the Philippines has been identified as among the threats to the local outsourcing industry, IDEA's study said.

"A threat bigger than labor migration is the migration of Filipino mentors as this means passing on the skill set to other countries," according to the study, a copy of which was given to local media this week.

Paderanga, however, believed that there are more talent people outside of the National Capital Region and other mature centers where most outsourcing firms are located.

The study said the local industry should promote locations outside of the NCR and tap talents outside established centers.

"The industry is worried about supply. So I believe the quality of education in schools, high schools in particular, should be improved. Teachers should also be improved," he said.

The study has provided a comprehensive data on "alternative destinations" where outsourcing firms could tap a more highly skilled labor pool.

Metro Manila currently houses about 80 percent of the outsourcing firms in the country.

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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Telcos: No cut in VoIP charges

No relief for families of overseas Filipinos

Telcos: No cut in VoIP charges

By Darwin G. Amojelar, Reporter

FILIPINOS hoping to spend more time during the Christmas holidays talking to loved ones abroad over the Internet may have to settle for their landlines or mobile phones, as large telecommunications companies bucked a proposal to bring down the access fee they charge voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) service providers, an official of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) said.

Edgardo Cabarios, chief of the NTC’s Common Carriers and Authorization Division, told reporters that Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., Smart Communications Inc., Bayan Telecommunication Inc., and Globe Telecom Inc. have raised their opposition to a proposed cut during the preliminary hearing on additional rules for VoIP.

Cabarios said telcos insisted that access charges should be “negotiated.” He added that the NTC ordered the telcos to submit their position papers next week.

The NTC official said lowering access charges will expand the growth of the VoIP market in the country, adding that current rates remain very high.

A cheap alternative to traditional telephony, VoIP involves transmitting voice calls through the Internet thus making them less expensive.

The regulator’s additional guidelines for VoIP came on the heels of complaints from VoIP service providers and from Congress that the access charge imposed by telcos remains exorbitant.

At present, landline calls are charged an access fee of $0.12, while mobile-phone calls incur $0.16 charge.

Under the proposed rules, the VoIP service provider shall be interconnected to at least one public switched telephone network, which shall be responsible for the routing of VoIP calls to other networks.

The switched network operator will be compensated a transit charge of not more than P0.25 a minute, whereas the access charge on VoIP calls should not be more than P1 a minute.

For mobile telephone interconnection, VoIP service providers should be interconnected to at least one network, which should be compensated a transit charge of not more than P0.50 a minute.

“The access charge paid to [the cell-phone network] where VoIP calls originate or terminate shall not be more than P1.50 a minute,” the NTC rules said.

It added that no interconnection agreement is required if VoIP calls originate from or terminate to broadband access networks.

“The access charge paid to [switched network operators] is different from the access charge paid to [cellular network operator] because of mobility. There is premium in mobility,” the NTC said.

Two years ago, the NTC opened up VoIP as a value-added service, which means that non-telcos may offer it to the public.

Under the VoIP circular, service providers have to register with the NTC and forge an agreement with the local telco. With the service classified as value-added, telcos were required to open their networks to VoIP service providers.

The telcos had objected to the classification of VoIP as value-added since international voice calls have been a major source of their revenues.

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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Online bullying a growing part of teen Internet life

US researchers warn that bullies are taking their hurtful ways from real-world schoolyards to the "cyber" world by targeting teens with nasty e-mail, text messaging, and online chat.

The number of children ages 10 to 17 that say they were abused by "cyber bullies" climbed 50 percent, from six percent in 2000 to nine percent in 2005, according to a new report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"One thing that stands out is that aggression perpetuated with technology goes far beyond cyber bullying," said Corrine Ferdon, one of the authors of the CDC report on "electronic aggression and youth violence."

"Technology is constantly evolving and if we focus on the Internet we will miss the show."

Instant messaging, including text messages sent to mobile telephones, is the most common way to send taunts, teases, threats, insults or other bullying messages, according to report co-author Marci Hertz.

Unlike in schoolyards where bullies have to face victims, the Internet lets abusers remain anonymous, Hertz said.

The majority of the self-described victims in the study said they didn't know who the "cyber bullies" were, Hertz told AFP.

"In the schoolyard you could defend yourself by speaking back but it is a completely different dynamic online," Hertz said.

"Some kids might be able to shrug it off, turn off the computer and move on. But some kids are more fragile."

A 13-year-old Missouri girl hanged herself with a belt in November after exchanging insults via her profile page at MySpace.com with a person she was tricked into thinking was a 16-year-old boy named "Josh."

The final message sent by Josh, who flirted with the girl for weeks online, was reportedly "The world would be a better place without you."

It turned out Josh was an online persona created by the mother of a former friend of the girl. The woman told investigators she played the charade to find out what the girl really thought of her daughter, who was the jilted friend.

After finding out the mother's behavior didn't break the law, local politicians made it illegal to harass people on the Internet.

Police in Tennessee say that one teenage girl stabbed another over a comment posted at the Facebook social networking website.

School officials in some US cities restrict access to the Internet or mobile telephones on campuses.

"Some of this hysteria about bullying is just a way to try to regulate and survey kids," said Nan Stein, a scientist at the Wellesley College's center for women, where she directs research on sexual harassment.

"We need to encourage kids to be citizens of the world. Being nice helps too, but we shouldn't be regulating."

The CDC performed its study of electronic aggression because it receives calls from "a lot of US schools" asking for advice regarding how to handle cyber bullying, Hertz said.

The report found that 64 percent of youths that said they were bullied on line contended they were not bullied at school. A separate US study concludes children bullied online are more likely to take guns to school.

It is vital for parents to be aware of their children's online experiences because electronic bullying is most likely to take place at homes or other places where teachers can't be alerted, researchers said.

As youth lifestyles increasingly involve the Internet and new ways to communicate it is understandable that bullying migrates from the real-world to the cyber arena, said University of California, Berkeley, researcher and sociologist C.J. Pascoe.

"It is the online manifestation of what they are doing in the schoolyard," said Pascoe, the author of a book on bullying titled "Dude, You're a Fag."

"The issue is being overblown. We should be concerned with bullying and harassment in general, no matter where it takes place."

The popularity of social networking websites where people post profile pages packed with personal information and rosters of friends provide rich fodder for bullies, says Pascoe.

In contrast, online messaging and social networking can also be safe havens for shy children that have trouble making friends in the real world or get bullied in real life situations, according to Pascoe.

"We highlight in our article the benefit of technology," Hertz said of the published report.

"Kids are better able to make friends, maintain social connections and get accurate information. We really encourage more talking rather than blocking or prohibiting access to technology."

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