Altimax bid for license extension rejected

By Lenie Lectura, Business Mirror

Posted at Feb 05 2009 01:59 AM | Updated as of Feb 05 2009 09:59 AM

Altimax Broadcasting Co. Inc. was again denied by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) for its bid to extend its license to operate a direct satellite service.

In an order, the NTC denied the application of Altimax for the issuance of a certificate of public convenience to install, operate and maintain a nationwide Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) service for failure to operate the service.

In September 2008, the NTC also denied a similar application to operate a multichannel multipoint distribution system or MMDS saying the company has yet to roll out its network as provided under its license.

The frequency bandwidths given to Altimax were among those that had been reallocated by the NTC for wireless broadband use. The company refused to turn over the frequencies and filed a case against the NTC protesting the 2005 reallocation circular before a local court in Quezon City.

Based on the NTC’s inspection report conducted by its Region III office in July last year, Altimax has no record of business in Subic, nor is it registered as a Subic Bay Freeport Enterprise or an accredited company in the freeport zone—as provided in its authority.

Altimax was granted a provisional authority (PA) in December 2000 for 18 months or until June 29, 2002. This was later on extended for three years or up to June 29, 2005.

The company again sought for an extension in April 2005. It also was issued permit to purchase broadcast equipments in February 2002, which was subsequently extended until March 2003.

But the commission’s NCR office conducted an inspection of the facilities of Altimax in June last year. Its office in Manila is nowhere to be found, said the NTC.

A company representative told the NTC that the station facilities of Altimax had been transferred to Subic in Zambales but was not yet operational.

But based on the inspection report from the NTC Region III office, it was found that the direct-to-home television satellite station of Altimax was nonexistent nor was it operating in Olongapo City and Subic in Zambales.

“Due to applicant’s failure to operate and maintain the DBS service, the Commission hereby denies the motion for further extension of PA. Consequently, the instant case is considered dismissed,” said the NTC in its January 30 order.

Altimax is the owner of Channel-OneTV and is led by Mel Velarde as chairman and chief executive officer. He is also the commissioner of the Unesco National Commission of the Philippines.