Senate panel takes on 3rd telco player

The Senate committee on public services led by Senator Grace Poe will today conduct a public hearing to discuss the selection of a third telecommunications service provider that will break the duopoly in the telecommunications sector

Poe said the Senate, in the exercise of its oversight functions, must be apprised on the developments on the much-awaited entry of the next telecoms player in anticipation of its being tapped next month. 

She said her committee will play a major role in tackling the applicant’s congressional franchise.

“We need to have a meaningful competition in the telecommunications that will translate into lower costs and better service,” Poe said.

She made her statement even as Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Ray Villafuerte on Sunday urged the National Telecommunications Commission to urge private telecommunications companies to improve their Internet services.

A more reliable Internet speed and connectivity alone could spell the success of the looming enactment of the telecommuting law that would not only allow workers to adopt a flexible work arrangement. but also help the government ease the worsening traffic in Metro Manila and other urban centers, Villafuerte said.

“More than telling private telcos to shape up, the NTC should also carry out measures to further bring down the costs of Internet services in the country to encourage more employers to adopt the flexi-work arrangement if and when feasible,”  Villafuerte said.

Today’s public hearing on the telecommunications sector comes in the wake of reports that the Philippines ranks near the bottom in Internet speed globally and has one of the most expensive mobile and data rates.

The Executive, particularly the Department of Information and Communications Technology and the National Telecommunications Commission and other related government agencies, is expected to brief senators about the issue.

Among the resource persons expected to provide a peek into the ongoing negotiations between the government and the private sector for the third telco are DICT Acting Secretary Eliseo Rio Jr., NTC chairman Gamaliel Cordoba, Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Emilio Aquino, Philippine Competition Commission Chairman Arsenio Balisacan, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia, Department of Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato dela Peña.

READ: 3rd telco rollout likely in June—DICT

Topics: Senate , Grace Poe , Luis Ray Villafuerte , National Telecommunications Commission , Department of Information and Communications Technology , National Telecommunications Commission
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