TOR on new major telco player now ready for approval

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) have announced they are ready to submit to an “Oversight Committee” the draft of the Terms of Reference (TOR) for the selection process for the country’s third major telco player.

In a meeting last May 28, the Oversight Committee 2018 consisting of the DICT, Department of Finance (DOF), the Office of the Executive Secretary, and the National Security Adviser, discussed the following:

1. The concern on the Frequency Spectrum (formerly awarded to BayanTel);

2. The establishment of common tower policy;

3. The commercialization of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines – Transco Dark Fiber;

4. The lowering of interconnection rates.

“The resolution of said four key issues is desirable to ensure not only the successful implementation of the selection process of the NMP (new major player) but also, more importantly, the sustainability of the NMP that will be selected so as to avoid the repeat of what happened in the past,” the ICT agency said.

The Oversight Committee, formed pursuant to Administrative Order 11, has agreed to tackle the matters at hand.

“Once these major issues have been fully resolved, the draft TOR will be revised, if necessary, and shall at once be published to gather comments and inputs from all stakeholders,” said DICT acting secretary Eliseo M. Rio Jr. in a statement.

“We will leave no stone unturned in providing better telecommunication services to the Filipino people the soonest time possible,” added Rio.

Representatives from the NTC, the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) and the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) were also present during the meeting to give their insights on various issues.

Addressing the lowering of interconnection rates, though, has gained momentum.

In the same meeting, the NTC has reported that it already came up with a memorandum circular lowering the interconnection rates for mobile voice calls from P2.50 to P0.50 and for short messaging services (SMS), from P0.15 to P0.05. The circular will be the subject of a public hearing on June 13, 2018.

This is pursuant to the directives of the DICT under Department Order No. 2018-02 released on May 11, 2018.

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