Regulator to study reducing access charges between networks

29 May 2008

Filipino telecoms regulator the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has said it will study plans to cut the access charges imposed on voice calls and SMS messages routed between networks, writes the Philippine Daily Inquirer. The move is in response to a recent call from the country’s lawmakers to make mobile phone text messaging free in the Philippines. In a statement, NTC Deputy Commissioner Jorge Sarmiento said the Department of the Transportation and Communications (DoTC) had instructed the watchdog to adopt measures to ‘reduce communications costs’. The House of Representatives is thought to be keen to review the franchises given to telecommunications companies to find out if they are allowed to charge subscribers for sending text messages. In the current economic climate, the Filipino government is looking at all available measures to alleviate the plight of the poorest members of society who currently spend up to PHP60 (USD1.37) a day to communicate wirelessly through text messages – equivalent to the cost of two kilograms of rice or ten packs of instant noodles.