The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) announced the release of its common tower policy guidelines next month.

This is in light of fast-tracking the construction of network infrastructures to address the urgent need for better connectivity in the Philippines amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The policy will enable independent tower companies to construct their sites which can be leased to major telecommunications (telco) operators Globe Telecom and Smart.

Prior to the common tower policy, telco companies were the only ones allowed to construct cell sites in areas where there is high user demand. The new policy aims to speed up network expansion in unserved and underserved areas in the country.

The DICT projects that around 50,000 cell towers are needed to equip the country with a reliable Internet connection, which will take around ten years to finish. Under the common tower policy, it will take only 3-5 years to complete as independent players can build their own towers.

DICT Assistant Secretary Emmanuel Caintic added that the agency works with the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) and other relevant government agencies to fast-track permitting procedures needed for cell tower construction.

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