Given the increasing role of Internet in communications especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, a member of the House of Representatives is pushing the government and local telcos to bring a minimum of “4G, 30Mbps” mobile speed in the provinces.
“I am hopeful the DICT (Department of Information and Communications Technology) and the telecom firms can commit 4G and 5G-level of access to mobile phone users,” Bohol third district representative Alexie Tutor said in a statement.
“[I]nternet service providers should [also] at least be able to ensure standard definition video-quality modes and speeds for households of at least 30 to 40 Mbps,” she added.
The lawmaker urged the DICT to team up with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to iron out issues on the rollout of ICT infrastructure in the country.
“I suggest the crafting and issuance of a Joint Memorandum by the DICT, DILG, and DTI. Toward this goal, one approach is for the DICT to address the difficulties in rolling out the Common Tower Policy at the LGU level in collaboration with the DILG and DTI plus direct consultations concerned provinces, cities, and towns,” she said.
Another approach, she added, would be for DICT, DILG, and DTI to recommend the issuance of a presidential directive to the LGUs.
“Upang mapahusay ang Internet service sa bansa, lalo na sa probinsya, kailangang mapabilis ang pagtatayo ng common towers na itinatadhana sa DICT charter. Upang mapabilis ang pagtatayo ng mga imprastrakturang ito, kailangang buwagin ang anumang red tape na humahadlang sa mga telcos upang maitayo ito. ‘Yan ang pinakamainam na incentive na maibibigay natin sa mga investor – ang matiyak nating walang korapsyon at walang red tape sa pakikipag-ugnayan nila sa mga national government agencies at LGUs,” she said.
The lawmaker said a fast and robust broadband connection is also needed for the government’s “Balik-Probinsya” program, adding that Internet access is a human right as declared by the United Nations.
“Sa gitna ng ‘new normal’ bunsod ng Covid-19 pandemic, kung saang online learning at work-from-home schemes na ang mas karaniwang ipapairal, lalong matingkad ang pangangailangan sa isang reliable na Internet service para sa lahat ng Pilipino,” Tutor said.