Did telcos pass network assessments? Palace to ask NTC for answers

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For the Duterte administration, December is not only momentous because of the holiday season but also because it is when it will find out if incumbent telco players were able to make improvements in their network services.

Back in July, President Rodrigo Duterte lambasted Smart Communications and Globe Telecom for their allegedly subpar services, threatening to shut them down if they fail to make positive changes by the end of 2020.

The president’s attack came amid the ongoing pandemic wherein Filipinos have become more dependent on Internet connectivity, particularly mobile network services.

In a recent virtual press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque raised the necessity of DITO Telecommunity’s upcoming participation in enhancing the country’s connectivity.

DITO is the China-backed third telco player owned by Davao-based businessman and Duterte ally Dennis Uy. The telco is set for commercial rollout in March 2021.

Roque noted that with the government expediting the processing of permits for the construction of cell towers, telcos have no more excuses not to enhance their services.

In line with this, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año previously reported that around 2,220 permits are already approved while 712 are still pending.