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Major telcos told to take action on plea for more cell towers in rural areas

August 14, 2022 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 271 views

 THE National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has directed the country’s three major telecommunications service providers to respond to a senior lawmaker’s plea for additional cellular towers and signal relay stations in the rural areas.

NTC Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba told Smart Communications Inc., Globe Telecom Inc. and DITO Telecommunity Corp. “to take appropriate action” on House Minority Leader and 4Ps Party-list Rep. Marcelino Libanan’s request for them “to immediately establish, commission and activate” new cell sites in the countryside.

Libanan had sent separate letters to Cordoba and the chief executive officers of the telecommunications companies, asking for more cell sites “to afford micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the rural areas much-need adequate and stable access to high-speed internet connectivity.”

Corboda in turn ordered the telecommunications firms to furnish the NTC copies of their formal answers to the lawmaker’s request.

The NTC chief’s directive was contained in a memorandum dispatched to the regulatory affairs heads of the three telecommunications companies – Manuel Casiño of Globe, Roy Ibay of Smart, and Adel Tamano of DITO.

In a statement on Sunday, Libanan said: “In order for the country to quickly recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, our national economy has to be firing on all cylinders.”

“And our economic engine cannot be firing on all cylinders as long as our MSMEs in the rural areas find it hard to achieve higher productivity due to the lack of reliable high-speed internet connectivity.”

Cell towers, or cell sites, host electronic communications equipment and antennae that allow people in surrounding areas to access the internet using their wireless communication devices such as mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and computers.

A key program of the Pagtibayin at Palaguin ang Pangkabuhayang Pilipino (4Ps Partylist) is “to support and assist the country’s MSMEs by providing them the necessary tools, technologies, skills and competencies.”