DICT chief defends integrity of 3rd telco selection process

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) defended the validity and integrity of the bidding process, which resulted in the provisional awarding of the third telco slot to a consortium of Davao City-based Udenna Corporation and Chinese state-owned firm China Telecom on Wednesday, Nov. 7.

The NTC Selection Committee chair by legal division head Ella Lopez (center)

Mislatel Consortium, led by local tycoon Dennis Uy, won the selection process after undergoing a series of evaluations on their submitted documents, which demonstrated their technical and financial capability to deliver telco services in the country in competition with existing players PLDT and Globe Telecom.

DICT acting secretary Eliseo Rio Jr. said the bidding was transparent as it was live-streamed through the DICT Facebook page, which provided the opportunity for the public to monitor the proceedings.

“The bidding yesterday was live-streamed, the public was able to watch how the documents were opened and evaluated. They were able to see the bidder that was able to submit complete documents and those who were not able to comply,” Rio said in a radio interview on Thursday, Nov. 8.

“Mislatel was the only bidder who was able to submit the complete requirements. If they were able to do it, how come the others did not?” he added.

Mislatel was the sole remaining bidder for the third telco player after Sear Telecom Consortium of Tier One Communications and LCS Group of Companies and PT&T were disqualified due to their failure to submit a participation security and certification of technical capability, respectively.

The disqualified bidders have three days to file their motions for reconsideration.

The NTC has awarded the provisional third telco player to Mislatel after it has scored 456.80 points out of 500 based on its highest committed level of service based on national coverage, Internet speed, and capital and operational expenditures over a five year period.

“A computer was the one who determined the winner with no human intervention. The computer was the one that awarded the points,” Rio explained.

Mislatel has committed to provide Internet speeds of 27Mbps on the first year, which would rise to 55Mbps on the second year until the fifth year of its operations, eventually covering 84 percent of the population.

“Mislatel has committed to provide internet speed of at least 55 Mbps. This is equivalent to the Internet speed in Singapore,” according to the DICT official.

The government will be able to forfeit the P14 billion performance bond of Mislatel in the event that it failed to deliver its commitments.

Mislatel still needs to undergo a document verification phase within three calendar days before it is confirmed as the country’s third telco player.

Telco giants PLDT and Globe Telecom have welcomed the entry of a new player in the industry saying that this will enable consumers to avail of innovative services, as well as ensure faster and affordable Internet services in the country.

The selection of a third telco player was the culmination of an initiative, which began November last year, when President Rodrigo Duterte pushed for the entry of a new telco firm that can compete with the existing duopoly. — Aerol John Pateña (PNA)

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