Home Headlines Yap wants NTC probed amid entry of 3rd telco

Yap wants NTC probed amid entry of 3rd telco

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CLARK FREEPORT — The House Committee on Information and Communications Technology wants the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) investigated amid alleged “lack of bidding, lack of transparency and failure to maintain an effective competition among private entities in the use of communication and radio facilities.”

In a statement, committee chairman Tarlac Rep. Victor Yap said the probe was in line with Pres. Duterte’s order to allow the operation of a third telecommunications provider by March 2018.

Yap said he filed House Resolution No. 1338 to look into the spectrum management and administration by the NTC.

“Radio frequency spectrum is a scarce resource and considered the lifeblood of the telecommunications industry. NTC is the government agency mandated to regulate this precious resource. However, several issues have come up such as the alleged lack of bidding in the assignment of spectrum, the lack of transparency in NTC’s process, and the failure to maintain an effective competition among private entities in the use of communication and radio facilities,” Yap said.

He noted that “100 percent of GSM/2G frequency is already owned by Smart and Globe. Only 15 megahertz is unallocated in the 3G frequency while only 80 megahertz is available in 4G.”

“This leaves the possible third telco player with only 100 megahertz to start its operations,” he said. Yap said “the recent call of the President involving the entry of third telco player underscores the importance of pursuing the investigation into the management and administration of the country’s radio frequency spectrum.”

“This would entail the assignment of the remaining available radio frequency spectrum and possibly the reassignment of those that are unutilized. Our objective to make policies, rules, and regulations on spectrum allocation effective will be rendered for naught if we allow the assignment of the remaining spectrum without closer scrutiny,” he added.

Yap cited “the importance of providing the third telco player with a fair battle ground to compete with the existing telcos.”

“The entry of a new player will not only provide competition to the existing telcos but will compel them to lower their costs and improve their services,” he said.

Yap said “we must ensure that the new entrant will have a fair platform from which it can launch its business. That is why spectrum management is crucial if we are to make headway in the telecommunications industry.”

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