DICT eyes lower user fee for small internet service providers
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) is eyeing to lower the spectrum users fee (SUF) for smaller Internet Service Providers (ISPs) so they can offer lesser subscription costs.
DICT Undersecretary for Operations Eliseo Rio Jr. said Thursday that the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) is set to release an order on this matter.
“Tinatap na po namin ‘yung mga small players, small ISPs. Hindi sila makapag-operate dahil sa taas ng spectrum users fee na pinapataw sa kanila. Ang SUF ay halos kapantay ng pinapataw sa mobile frequencies. Hindi po kaya yan ng small ISPs,” he said in an interview with dzMM.
(We have tapped small players, small ISPs. They cannot operate because of the high spectrum of users fee imposed on them. The SUF is almost the same as the fee for mobile frequencies. Small ISPs cannot afford this.)
“Kaya po itong aming ginagawa ngayon is pababain ‘yung SUF, para ‘yung small prayers ay makapaglatag po ng connectivity using maraming technology (That’s why what we are doing is to lower the SUF so that small players can offer connectivity through different technology),” he added.
SUF is collected annually from mobile service providers that were assigned frequency bandwidth based on the amount of spectrum used, type of service being offered and economic classification of the areas covered by cell sites.
Rio explained that some smaller players cannot expand its operations since the SUF they are required to pay is equivalent to that being paid by larger telco companies.
He added that the DICT is planning to have this order take effect before the end of April.
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