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Saturday, July 13, 2024

Consumer group says internet now a basic necessity, calls to lift lease fees for telcos

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A consumer group has called on the government to suspend the lease fees for telecommunications companies, saying that internet connection in the digital era is a basic necessity.

In an official statement, Bantay Konsyumer, Kalsada, Kuryente (BK3) said that internet connection should have an equal footing with utilities such as water and electricity.

“Dapat itong tingnan bilang katulad ng tubig at kuryente na maagang isinasama sa disenyo ng lahat ng gusali ng gobyerno at pribadong sektor, at maging lease-free (We should look at this as like water and electricity that are incorporated into all building designs of the government and the private sector, and make it lease-free),” the statement read.

“Hindi natin kailangan ang dagdag sa gastos sa sa mga basic utility na tiyak na idadagdag din naman sa singilin ng mga konsyumer (We do not need added expenses for basic utilities that are sure to be passed on to consumers),” it added.

The group added that communication and digital connectivity should be considered a “basic human right.”

“Mahalaga ito sa ating pagsulong. Kailangan nating masiguro na accessible at napapakinabangan ang internet ng bawa’t konsyumer at mamamayan (It is important for our progress. We need to insure that the internet is accessible and beneficial for every consumer and citizen),” BK3 said.

House Deputy Majority Leader and ACT-CIS party-list Rep. Erwin Tulfo earlier said that buildings and properties should offer zero lease for the installation broadband connectivity, saying that the private sector should consider such move as nearly 800 buildings across Metro Manila have lifted lease fees.

Currently, there are 105 developers in Makati City which adopted the lease-free setup for broadband connectivity, followed by Taguig City with 91 buildings and Quezon City with 57 buildings.

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