Have ’one voice’ on common tower policy for telco providers — Poe
MANILA, Philippines — Government bodies working on the proposed set of rules for telco service providers must coordinate and “get their acts together” to avoid confusing the public, Senator Grace Poe said on Saturday.
“We urge the government bodies on board to get their acts together. There should only be one voice on this matter, otherwise, it would send confusion to the telcos and the public,” Poe said in a statement.
This was after Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) acting Secretary Eliseo Rio Jr. questioned the draft common tower policy of presidential adviser Ramon “RJ” Jacinto.
Rio questioned Jacinto’s provisions such as banning telco service providers from building their own cell cites and to limit common tower builders to just two operators.
Officials from PLDT Inc. and Globe Telecom also said they would challenge the provisions if these were implemented.
But Jacinto said his provisions would help nurture common tower companies.
Poe however urged government officials to listen to the concerns of stakeholders on the provisions to ensure that the policy on common towers could be “free from legal hurdles.”
“While the draft Memorandum Circular on the common tower was said to be duly heard, the strong opposition and the number of stakeholders against it should prompt the proponents to pause and listen to ensure it would be free from legal hurdles,” the senator said.
Poe then said common towers for telco providers must be compliant with “safety and environmental standards.”
Poe also branded as “counterproductive” the restriction of building towers in improving country’s telco services.
“Restriction could limit the number of towers that may be built during the period, which would be counterproductive to the government’s aim of improving telecommunications infrastructure in the country,” she said.
Also, limiting to two tower companies would also “infringe” on the right of telcos to build their own infrastructure, Poe said.
The common tower policy was proposed to make way for cell tower sharing among telcos, including the new major player chosen last November 2018. /muf
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