Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino IV of the Senate committee on science and technology is pushing for the passage of the Senate Bill No. 1763, or the Open Access in Data Transmission bill, which aims to solve the issue “that has been a thorn on the side of many Filipinos for years”.
The bill is bound to facilitate the entry of more players into the different segments of the telecommunications and data transmission industry from network infrastructure to multiple services operations.
The Senate is leading the country in leveling up its broadband competitiveness in the global marketplace by transforming the “vertically integrated single network into a decentralized, distributed setting where services in different segments can be provided by different entities”, according to co-author of the bill Senator Sherwin Gatchalian.
One of the earliest and most urgent application of the ‘Open Access Model’ is in the TowerCo program of the Department of Information and Communications Technology. The priority is in the country’s preparedness for the chosen third player to be able to operate soonest with a tower network infrastructure in place.
An ‘Open Access Model’ is meant to correct the laggard state of the Philippines’ internet connectivity, service delivery and cost expenditures by the sharing among different players of a common, physical infrastructure or a tower, according to the authors.
Alcatel-Lucent defined as early as in 2010 the ‘Open Access Model’ as the “separation of the physical infrastructure from service positioning across multiple operators.”
The ‘Open Access Model’ in the Philippines could hasten the build-up of its tower infrastructure network by the democratization of the policy to open up the TowerCo concept to all those interested to participate and not narrowing it down to just two so-called independent players.
The proponents said with the third player due to be finally selected by December, the network infrastructure build-up should be in process by then through a more democratized TowerCo policy.