Immediately after Pres. Rodrigo Duterte threatened to close down the local telcos because of “lousy” service during his State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, July 27, Ayala-owned telco Globe Telecom said investments in its network infrastructure have improved its services but admitted that challenges remain.
“We heed the call of the President to improve telco services. Service performance and increased consumer demand for data are the key reasons why we have been investing billions of dollars to upgrade and improve our network. This year Globe has earmarked $1.2 billion in capex, majority of which goes to network and capacity builds,” the company said in a statement.
“Although we have seen marked improvements, the industry is not without its challenges. The long-drawn permitting process across LGUs, homeowner associations, and national agencies including the (DOH) Department of Health and the CAAP (Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines) have hampered cellsite builds and laying down of fiber to homes,” it added.
Globe’s local rival, Smart Communications, said it won’t be issuing a statement on Duterte’s SONA speech.
The country’s third telco, Dito Telecommunity, is not expected to offer commercial services until March of next year.
Globe said the recently signed joint memorandum circular spearheaded by the Department of Information and Communications Technology may fast-track the roll-out of telco towers and help in improving the connectivity in the country.
“Globally, we are being cited for having improved Internet experience. Only recently, independent mobile analytics Open Signal ranked the Philippines as the 4th most improved country in mobile video experience. The ranking was included in its State of Mobile Network Experience in 2020 report,” it said.
For her part, BHW party-list representative Angelica Natasha Co said the country needs a new set of laws to replace the old regulations that govern the telecoms sector.
“These old laws the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) is implementing date from the 1930s to the 1990s. We are already in the Year 2020. We need a Comprehensive Telecommunications and Cyberspace Policy Act which will work well decades into the future and is benchmarked with the policies and regulations prevailing internationally,” Co said in a statement.
Iligan City representative Frederick Siao agreed with Co, saying the NTC needs to update and refocus its charter so it can regulate the telecommunications sector better.