DICT circular orders NTC to bring interconnection rates to minimum

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Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) acting secretary Eliseo M. Rio Jr. has issued a department order directing the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to reduce interconnection rates between local telcos to the lowest level possible.

The issuance of the circular, dated May 11, is the first act of Rio since being appointed as acting secretary of the DICT on Tuesday, May 8.

Through Department Order (DO) 002, the DICT has instructed NTC to formulate concrete measures in reducing interconnection rates for both mobile voice and short message services (SMS) to the minimum.

The DO cited the need to reduce the interconnection rates between the telcos because the Philippines has one of the highest calls and text service rates in Asia.

“Surely, subscribers will send more text messages that will make up for the interconnection cost” among the operators, said Rio.

Lowering and standardizing interconnection rates will also the encourage competition and attract new telecommunication players by creating a fair-level playing field, the circular said.

Having standard interconnection fees will also eliminate the factor of choosing an operator on the basis of the current subscriptions of friends and families, the circular added.

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