After a rigorous public hearing attend by so many delagates from various embassies, lawyers, representatives of other telecommunications companies joining in the public bidding, Information and Communications Technology Chief Eliseo Rio, Jr. is very optimistic to name the 3rd major telecommunications player by October 2018.
In a brief tête-à-tête with THEPHILBIZNEWS team who covered the public hearing, Rio said, that he shares the ardent desire of President Rodrigo Duterte to break the “duopoly”in the telecom industry in our country which has been held by Globe Telecom and PLDT, respectively.
He further said,“I want this to be our legacy to the Filipino people that they will always happily remember that their interest has been in our mind to provide them with globally competitive, fast, reliable and afforadble internet service provider.”
Rio went on, “We are living in the digital age. Hence it is just imperative that this must be supported by a reliable internet connections. We have OFWs that also need to be connected with their family even the ones on the country side.”
In our report on August 9, according to Better Broadband Alliance, the 93% in the Philippines still uses 3G instead of the faster 4G, and the Philippines ranks 2nd in the world for slowest 3G, 4G and Converge ICT wants to solve that problem.
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Secretary Rio said that he is very pleased with public hearing and how the process of selection has been structured using the Terms of Reference (TOR) based on the highest committed level of service (HCLOS) against the alternative “auction-based TOR”.
Department of Information and Communications Technology Chief Eliseo Rio, Jr.
Rio went on, the final draft of the TOR has been issued, and the legal part of the process of selection has already begun. What happens now is that the official version of that final TOR draft will have to be made within 55 days.
After the 55 days, interested parties will be given a month to submit their proposals, and the expectation is the DICT can immediately decide on the said proposals after careful evaluation and then name the deserving winner based on the TOR hopefully by end of October 2018.
“The selection process is not unlike a legislative process. A legislative process is just not possible without a public hearing. That hearing has to be conducted in order to identify concerns that may still remain over the final draft, and to address the same, taking into account inputs from stakeholders”, the DICT Chief explained.
Although the DICT has mentioned that a number of companies have expressed interest in wanting to be the third telco, we have no idea which company has the resources to put out the committed roll-out and gain the advantage. There have been reports that LG Corporation of South Korea has expressed interest. We are aware that South Korea has the fastest internet speed among our Asian neighbors, but we still have to wait whether or not that fact translates to an improvement in our own often infuriating internet speed.
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DICT Acting Chief very satisfied with public hearing
Rio is determined to have a new third major player in the telco given everything that DICT has done such as public hearings, ironing the TOR and many more to ensure that everything is above-board and that expectation of the public will be met.
There was an occasion that the calm and soft-spoken Secretary Rio expressed his frustrations on the numerous delays in the selection process.
The reason being is he wants the public to get what it really deserves, a committed, technically capable and competent, financially stable telecom company that will provide what our country deserves a faster and reliable internet connection that will make our world flat and connected with each other considering the fact that the Philippines is composed of more than 7,000 plus islands, on both high tide and low tide, Rio said in jest.