Freeman Cebu Business

Cu: Red tape slows down deployment of telco infra

Carlo S. Lorenciana - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - A telecommunications executive criticized the red tape in local government units — an industry concern that slows down the deployment of telecommunication and broadband infrastructure such as cell sites.

Globe Telecom Inc. President and CEO Ernest Cu pointed out there is so much bureaucratic red tape in local governments when it comes to getting permits.

Telco companies are required to get relevant permits from LGUs before they can secure approval to build cell sites.

 "Limitation on investment is not us. It's the permitting, right of way, land acquisition and it will depend on the LGUs," Cu told reporters at the sidelines of the company's event in Pasay City, Manila on Monday.

He noted funding is not an issue.

 Cu said the telecom industry needs the help of LGUs, the national government and even lawmakers to help address the red tape issue at the local level.

 The top executive pointed out it takes several months before the company's permit applications for establishment of cell sites are approved.

 "We hope to lobby the government [to help] build [the Internet] infrastructure," he added.

 Cu announced the company is focusing to build infrastructure as part of its network expansion for a five-year period.

 The Ayala-led telco giant is spending as much as $750 million this year as its capital expenditure, bulk of it will be for the deployment of fiber optic cables in 20,000 barangays in the country.

 Shares of Globe closed at P2,148 per share on Tuesday. (FREEMAN)

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