Group calls for open competition in PH internet service

A civil society group has called for an open competition in Internet service in the Philippines.

The entry of new players in the local telecommunications industry will help improve the state of Internet in the country, said Mary Grace Mirandilla-Santos, lead convenor of Better Broadband Alliance (BBA).
Community Internet service providers (ISPs) should be allowed to operate and build their own networks, according to Santos.

In the current market set-up, ISPs need to connect to the network of the two major telcos in the country.
Allowing community ISPs to operate their own networks, she said, would help in providing Internet access to remote areas in the country that are not served by major telco firms.

Santos added that the implementation of a policy allowing the use of alternative technologies such as allocation of unused television frequencies otherwise known as white spaces and satellite broadband would help improve the quality of Internet in the country.

“We need to allow democratic access to technology that would enable innovation and foster market dynamism,” Mirandilla-Santos said.

Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Secretary Rodolfo Salalima earlier said the implementation of the national broadband plan would facilitate the entry of new competitors in the telco industry.

During the Philippine Telecoms summit held in March this year, Salalima said an open competition would help ensure better service, greater coverage and affordable pricing.

The entry of new players in the telco industry, he said, will improve the state of Internet in the country.

The DICT Secretary added that any local or foreign telco firms which have the capability to establish mobile communication facilities that can provide quality service to the consumers are welcome.

“If any local franchisee wants to be the third or fourth operators of consequence in this country, bring in a foreign partner with the legal, technical and financial credibility and capacity to mount a credible and effective competition against the existing telcos,” Salalima said. (PNA)

Photo Caption: Pexels

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