Regulator to impose charges for access, exchange codes

23 Jan 2008

The Philippines’ telecoms regulator the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) is planning to introduce a charging scheme on the access and exchange codes that operators use to provide communications services, writes the Inquirer citing NTC Deputy Commissioner Jorge Sarmiento. He said there are growing calls to impose fees on these codes, which are deemed to be ‘scarce resources’ in the country. Sarmiento went on to say that the planned fee would ‘be paid every year at PHP1.00 (USD0.02) per number and thereafter’. However, he added that the proposal was only in the discussion phase at this time.

If the NTC implements its plan, telecoms networks and services using the ‘091x’, ‘1-800’, ‘1-900’ and the exchange codes used by the country’s fixed network operators will have to pay NTC the fees. This way it will be able to better regulate the use of these numbers, which the NTC fears could run out. There are currently eight million four-digit access codes available and only 10,000 three-digit codes per fixed exchange network, Sarmiento said.