Congress to prioritize open access for telcos
Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) - January 19, 2016 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines – The proposed Open Access Law for the telecommunications industry which seeks to expedite permits for telco facilities may be included in the list of priorities of the next Congress, according to Globe Telecom Inc.

Globe said the Congressional Policy and Budget Research Department (CPBRD) has requested for additional information on the telco firm’s proposed Open Access Law.

The Open Access Law seeks to address bureaucratic red tape and other political hurdles that stand in the way in the deployment of telecommunications and broadband infrastructure such as cell sites.

Globe general counsel Froilan Castelo said such legislation would help minimize red tape and hasten the issuance of all relevant permits for all telecommunication facilities at the local government unit level.

“Legislation of an Open Access law is extremely important if we are to support growth and development of the next generation. The interest that the CPBRD has shown for our proposal further motivates us to remain aggressive in developing a robust telecom infrastructure that we hope will support business capabilities of local industries,” Castelo said.

Ramon Isberto, head of public affairs at Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) and Smart Communications Inc., said making the legislation a priority is a welcome development as the firm supports Globe’s proposal.“Standardizing and simplifying these processes will help speed up the process of deploying network facilities all over the country,” he said.

Aside from the Open Access Law, the CPBRD also requested for details on Globe’s stand on the reallocation of the 700 megahertz (MHz) band.

Globe and PLDT are pushing for the reallocation of the frequency which is currently underutilized to be able to provide faster Internet speeds.

The 700 MHz band is considered necessary to provide faster Internet speeds given its ability to easily penetrate buildings and walls and its greater coverage with less investments required.

The bulk of the 700 MHz band is held by San Miguel Corp. through wi-Tribe Telecoms Inc.’s 80 Mhz and High Frequency Telecommunications Inc.’s 10 Mhz. The 10 Mhz balance is assigned to New Century Telecommunications.

ACIRC CONGRESSIONAL POLICY AND BUDGET RESEARCH DEPARTMENT FROILAN CASTELO GLOBE TELECOM INC MHZ AND HIGH FREQUENCY TELECOMMUNICATIONS INC NEW CENTURY TELECOMMUNICATIONS OPEN ACCESS OPEN ACCESS LAW PHILIPPINE LONG DISTANCE TELEPHONE CO RAMON ISBERTO SAN MIGUEL CORP
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