DICT, DepEd allow common telco towers in public schools

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 19 2021 07:06 PM

A cellular site tower in Caloocan City on Aug. 6, 2020. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — The information and education departments have allowed the construction of common towers in public schools, which are seen to expand connectivity in underserved areas and help telcos save expenses, an official said on Monday. 
 
"Pinayagan na rin natin na iyong ating mga public schools ay magiging common tower sites kung saan puwedeng magtayo na rin ng mga signal ang ating mga telco companies," said Information Undersecretary Emmanuel Caintic. 

(We have allowed public schools to be common tower sites, where telco companies can set up signals.)

The Department of Information and Communications Technology and the Department of Education signed a memorandum of agreement on this, he said in a televised public briefing. 

"The initiative aims to provide connectivity to all of the DepEd's offices and public schools, especially those in far-flung areas," the education department said in a statement. 

DITO Telecommunity last year said it was "negotiating" a deal with the Department of Education to co-locate or build base stations in public schools. 

Once approved, the third telco would be able to build facilities within school premises while providing the education department access to "immediate internet connection," DITO chief technology officer Rodolfo Santiago said. 

Co-locating with common towers will not only help expand coverage but will help telcos save on building and maintenance expenses, the DICT earlier said. 

Face-to-face classes in the basic education level remain suspended due to the COVID-19 crisis. Students rely on online classes, broadcasts, and printed modules for blended or distance learning.