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PH’s telco infra improves amid speedy issuances of LGU permits

/ 08:08 PM June 02, 2021
PH's telco infra improves amid speedy issuances of LGU permits

Cellular communications tower in the background of the city and beautiful sunset in summer. Stock Photo

MANILA, Philippines — Faster issuance of permits by the local government units (LGUs) has paved the way for improved telecommunication infrastructure in the country as more cellular towers and fiber-optic networks have been established nationwide.

This developed, according to the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), amid President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive last July 2020 for swift processing of LGU permits so additional cellular towers would be built to improve communication and connectivity in the country.

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There has been a significant increase in the issuance of LGU permits from July 2020 to April this year, it noted.

“The country now has a total of 24,614 cellular towers to date,” NTC said. “Globe has 10,941 towers. Smart has 10,433 and DITO has 3,240.”

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It added that as of January to April 2021, 2,789 LGU permits have already been issued to telcos, which is a 294% increase compared to a total of only 1,636 LGU permits issued in 2019.

NTC also said the increase in the number of issued LGU permits translated to an increase in the number of cellular towers built across the country.

It said that 1,672 cellular towers have already been erected in the first four months of 2021 – a notable count since only a total of 1,746 and 4,337 cellular towers were constructed in 2019 and 2020, respectively.

Fiber-optic networks in the Philippines have likewise improved, NTC said, with a total of 846,323 cable kilometers laid out as of April.

NTC said infrastructure investment is also anticipated to reach a new high this year with Globe and Smart planning to spend P70 billion and P92 billion, respectively.

“Converge, is also expected to increase its capital expenditure from P19 billion in 2020 to P20 billion this year as it aggressively provides pure end-to-end fiber internet connection to its market.”

NTC said it expects this improvement to continue as more LGUs comply with the Joint Memorandum Circular  No. 01 of 2020 or the “Special Guidelines on the Provision of Social Amelioration Measures to the Most Affected Residents of the Areas Under Enhanced Community Quarantine” signed by the Department of Information and Communications Technology, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Anti-Red Tape Authority, and other concerned government agencies.

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NTC also welcomed the Department of Public Works and Highways’ initiative to allow telecommunication companies to occupy a portion of the government’s Right of Way as part of the government’s thrust to ensure internet connectivity throughout the country.

“The new DPWH directive will help speed up implementation of telco infrastructure projects especially along national roads,” it said.

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TOPICS: Converge, Dito, globe, National Telecommunications Commission, PLDT, Telecommunity
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