Poe hopes DICT’s shared cell tower policy is a ‘game changer’ to PH internet service
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Grace Poe expressed hope that the shared tower policy of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) would be a “game-changer” in providing wider and faster internet service, especially when the country’s basic education system shifts to online learning amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“It is our earnest hope that this will be a game-changer—to pave the way for our much-desired connectivity that will expand the horizon of opportunities for our people across all walks of life,” Poe, chair of the Senate public services committee, said in a statement on Wednesday.
“With the internet seeming like our umbilical cord to the outside world in this time of pandemic, a reliable and dependable connection is essential,” she added.
The DICT recently released its guidelines allowing telecommunications companies to share cell towers.
DICT Secretary Gregorio Honasan II last May 29 signed the guidelines seen to improve the quality of internet service by encouraging the construction of tens of thousands of new towers across the Philippines.
Under the guidelines, the DICT allowed qualified independent tower companies to build cell sites that will be leased to telco companies on the “same or reasonably equivalent terms, conditions, fees, and charges.”
Poe said tower sharing is a way to address the demand for “better, wider and faster internet service” which she pointed out is a necessity with the country shifting to online learning as the government limits physical interactions in a bid to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
“We owe it to our students to have fair and equal access to this digital experience,” Poe went on.
“Infrastructure sharing will also reduce investment costs and operating expenses, which will result in lower rates for our consumers,” she added.
She then enjoined concerned national and local government units to adhere to “mandatory timelines and automatic approval procedures under the circular, backed by Ease of Doing Business and other laws.”
“With the urgency of connectivity, it is crucial to ensure that the various pain points in building the needed infrastructure, including provisions for right of way, will be addressed and settled swiftly,” the senator said.
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