Philippines hail shared infrastructure headway

Philippines hail infrastructure measure progress

The Philippines government announced over a dozen new tower companies registered interest in opening operations in the country, due to early measures introduced to simplify building shared telecom infrastructure.

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) said in a statement, it received letters of intent from 13 additional tower companies, adding to the department’s list of mostly foreign-owned 24 firms.

DICT, the Anti-Red Tape Authority and other government arms signed a memorandum in July to: “streamline the process of applications for the requirements, permits, licenses, clearances, certificates, and other necessary documents”. This was to enable independent tower companies to construct shared passive telecommunications infrastructure.

DICT unveiled the new direction and overhauled the rules in June, stating the country requires around 50,000 extra towers to achieve optimal coverage. 

The department stated the Covid-19 (coronavirus) underlined the need for improved communications infrastructure, and is “one of the major concerns” of the government due to rising demand from citizens.

“These inter-agency efforts are initiated with the recognition that ICT infrastructure improvements need to begin with the reduction of bureaucratic red tape that has long interfered with our mission of improving Internet connection in the country,” said Gregorio B. Honasan II, DICT secretary. 

“With everyone stepping up, we hope to fast-track the build-up of telecommunication towers in support of President Duterte’s directives to fully address the Filipinos connectivity needs,” he added.

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