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Deliver on franchise promise or face penalties, Poe tells Dito

/ 08:50 AM November 19, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Grace Poe has warned the country’s third mobile player, Dito Telecommunity (formerly Mislatel), that it would face penalties should it fail to deliver on its commitment to improve internet speed and coverage in the country within the next five years.

During plenary deliberations on the proposed 2020 budget of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) on Monday, Poe reminded the agency of Dito’s commitments under the franchise agreement.

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She noted that in its first year, which ends on July 8, 2020, Dito is obliged to cover at least 37 percent of the population, with an average minimum internet speed of 27 megabits per second (Mbps).

Over a five-year period, Dito promised to cover 84 percent of the country and offer internet speed of at least 55 Mbps, she added.

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Sen. Panfilo Lacson, who sponsored the budget of the DICT, said not one cell site has been completed by Dito.

“‘Yun ang medyo nakakatakot kasi, by July 2020, dapat meron na silang 2,500 cell sites,” Poe, chair of  the Senate public services committee, said.

In response, Lacson assured that Dito would be able to put up its cell sites in two months.

”I understand these are all prefab, so mabilis lang po ito. In two months, they can put them up,” he said.

Poe then pointed out that under the franchise agreement, “for every non-compliance, there are penalties.”

“If they are not able to fully deliver on their commitment, there are penalties,” she added.

Lacson said that Dito’s commitment is backed up by a performance security amounting to P25.7 billion for the first year; P10.7 billion for the second year; P8 billion for the third year; P5.3 billion for the fourth year; and P2.7 billion for the fifth year.

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Lacson also said that Dito is given a six-month grace period to comply with the requirements.

Poe then expressed hope that the completion of Dito’s cell sites will improve telecommunications services for the public.

Edited by MUF
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TAGS: budget, DICT, Dito, Grace Poe, Internet, Local news, Nation, news, Philippine news update, Senate, Telecommunications
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