Globe supports moves to reassess spectrum fees

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Globe lauded the recent unanimous approval at the House of Representatives of House Bill 9851, or the “Zero Spectrum User Fee for Telcos Using Wi-Fi Act”, which aims to reduce to zero the spectrum user fees (SUF) paid by telecoms firms to the national government. This is seen to broaden the public’s access to WiFi technology, and eventually lower the cost of telecoms services for the public.

The bill mandates the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to effectively establish the Zero SUF Policy and regulation by not imposing charges, nor collecting fees from telcos for using WiFi or wireless data networks.

“We have been actively pursuing the lowering of spectrum user fees with the NTC and Congress, since we believe that telecommunications is now an essential service that should be made more affordable for users,” said Atty. Froilan Castelo, Globe General Counsel.

Castelo explained that reducing the SUF will allow telcos to divert essential resources to much-needed network builds instead of paying expensive fees.

HB 9851 was approved by the House of Representatives and transmitted to the Senate last September 22, is an effort by legislators to regulate exorbitant SUFs levied on telecoms firms, which in turn is expected to help “promote the acceleration of internet use in the country and the expansion of WiFi technology and infrastructure in unserved and underserved areas.”

Globe had previously called for the same zero rating of spectrum user’s fees for frequencies that are internationally considered as unlicensed frequencies, since “SUFs that are set too high in combination with taxes, regulatory fees and other charges on public telecommunications entities (PTEs) negatively impact economic growth and impedes digital transformation.”

The efficient use of the radio frequency spectrum provides considerable benefits to the economy and should therefore be maximized.

“When spectrum prices are set too high, operators are likely to invest less in their networks — which impacts the quality, affordability, and reach of services,” Castelo added.

While mobile service operators incur massive and sustained capital outlay for telecommunications infrastructure and pay costly spectrum fees, revenues per MHz of spectrum is declining.

With its mission to deliver #1stWorldNetwork connectivity to Filipinos, Globe ramped up its new cell site builds for the year. The company uses 4G LTE and 5G wireless technologies for faster download and upload, higher bandwidth, and low latency, among other benefits. Aside from these, Globe completed 82 in-building solutions or IBS to provide quality indoor coverage to customers for better mobile signals.

Globe’s 5G outdoor coverage in the National Capital Region has now reached 95% and is already present in over 1,900 locations in the country as of end-September. Globe is helping migrate its customers to 5G-enabled devices and offering free SIM 4G LTE/5G so that customers can experience the power of the new technology.

Globe strongly supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, particularly UN SDG No. 9, which highlights the roles of infrastructure and innovation as crucial drivers of economic growth and development. Globe is committed to upholding the UN Global Compact principles and contributes to 10 UN SDGs.

To learn more about Globe, visit www.globe.com.ph.

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