THE Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) said the inter-agency committee overseeing the selection of a third telco player will come up with a target timetable for the announcement of the new entrant.
“We’ll come up with the timeline on when the awarding will actually take place but definitely within the third quarter or fourth quarter,” DICT Secretary Eliseo M. Rio, Jr. told reporters on Friday in Pasay City, referring to a more conservative schedule compared to the previously announced August target.
He added that the committee met on Thursday afternoon to discuss the timeline, but no details were immediately available.
“Sinusuri ng oversight committee yung terms of reference,” he added.
Some 300 megahertz of frequency is currently available and is expected to suffice for the consumption of a third player.
The National Telecommunications Commission estimates that 30.32% of all available radio frequencies is allocated to PLDT, Inc; around 24.9% for Globe Telecom, Inc.; some 39.35% is facing issues in the courts; while the remaining 5.41% is unassigned.
Mr. Rio noted the committee is ensuring the new major player will have the capacity to shell out a hefty investment.
In another development, the DICT sealed on Friday a partnership with the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines and the National Transmission Corporation for the free utilization of spare optical fiber, which will save the government some 2.6 billion in savings.
Under the deal, the DICT is granted the indefeasible right of use/or access in certain spare Fiber Optic Cores, vacant lots, tower spaces and related facilities. The total length of the dark fiber network is 6,154 kilometers, spanning from Luzon to Mindanao.
The two major broadband projects are expected to be completed by 2019. Its implementation is seen to save up on workforce, time, and financing, while helping more people in the provinces access government’s internet services at an affordable cost. — J.C. Lim