Eliseo Rio, acting secretary of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), said Filipino internet users should expect faster speeds in 2020.
Third telco’s license likely out this month
Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star) - June 10, 2019 - 12:00am

Faster internet by next year

MANILA, Philippines — Change is coming for the Philippine information and communications technology landscape, with the government giving its assurance that Filipinos will finally enjoy faster internet speed next year.

Eliseo Rio, acting secretary of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), said Filipino internet users should expect faster speeds in 2020.

“By next year, DICT envisions faster, reliable and consistent internet connection brought by healthy market competition,” Rio said.

“Our primary goal is to deliver concrete outputs by next year under our short term vision 2020. We are promising our people that by next year they will feel a very big improvement in our ICT environment because by that time, we will have a third telco in operation and we will have our Facebook two terabits per second capacity that will be given to us free and we will now distribute this internet capacity all over the Philippines reaching down to Mindanao,” he said.

Rio said the Philippines is among the lowest ranked countries in the region in terms of internet speed.

“All of that will be changed by 2020. We will have faster internet speed. Entry of third telco competing with Globe and Smart will improve our internet speed to almost that of Singapore,” the DICT chief said.

“Even with the third telco not yet operating, Globe and Smart allocated their biggest capex for 2018 and even bigger this year. That means they’re preparing for competition. The new player will really give that new competition,” Rio said.

Rio expects the new telco player, Mislatel, to start operating by the first quarter of 2020.

The incoming third telco player, composed of state-owned China Telecom and Dennis Uy’s Udenna Corp. and Chelsea Logistics Holdings Corp., is seen being given the frequencies it won and its permit to operate, or Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity, by the end of the month, according to Rio.

“They are now working for the approval of their consortium with our Securities and Exchange Commission. But even as we speak now, they’re already rolling out,” he said.

The Mislatel consortium has been declared as the provisional new major player in the telecommunications industry in Nov. 7 last year after its offer was the only one of three bids that was found complete and qualified.

On Nov. 19, the consortium received a new major player confirmation order from the government and last month, was able to secure Congress resolution involving its franchise.

Aside from Mislatel’s entry, DICT is also counting on the agreement that involves the construction of an ultra high speed information highway in improving the speed, affordability and accessibility of broadband internet throughout the country by next year.

The DICT in 2017 signed a landing party agreement with Facebook, which would be called the Luzon Bypass Infrastructure to improve speed and accessibility, as well as reduce the cost of broadband internet in the country.

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