DICT outlines telco towers programme; plans new measures to speed up broadband rollouts

7 May 2021

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has outlined plans to build common tower infrastructure to speed up the rollout of internet services in commercially unviable areas. The Malaya Business Insight cites Emmanuel Rey Caintic, DICT undersecretary for Digital Philippines, as saying that that the Department is working with Congress on new legislation to allow it to access unused funds raised by spectrum fees to build out the new sites.

‘DICT wishes to invest in common towers for ‘missionary’ sites, complete with radio access network and Internet Protocol backhaul,’ Caintic is quoted as saying, adding: ‘To address permitting delays in ongoing builds of fibre-optic networks, we are drafting a new Joint Memorandum Circular to streamline the permitting process. Fibre networks are critical in operationalising broadband services’.

As it stands, data from the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) confirms that the Philippines had 22,405 towers as of November 2020, of which Globe Telecom had 10,270, followed by Smart Communications (10,069) and new third telco, DITO Telecommunity, with 2,066 towers.