The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) in the Philippines has ordered the country’s telecoms operators to reduce mobile interconnection costs and called on the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to implement its plan. Business Mirror quotes the DICT’s acting information secretary Eliseo M Rio Jr. as saying that a fresh cut to interconnection rates could potentially help the proposed third telco to compete better against incumbent telcos PLDT Inc. and Globe Telecom. In his first department order, Rio stated: ’Affordable interconnection rates would encourage competition and would attract new major telecommunications players by creating a healthy environment conducive for competition and fair level playing field’. Currently, voice call interconnection rates are set at PHP0.025 (USD0.0005), while text message rates are fixed at PHP0.015. The last time that interconnection fees were lowered was in early 2017.