MANILA - The Department of Public Works and Highways should revisit, amend and establish more "conducive" right-of-way regulations to help improve internet connectivity in the country, telecom-related agencies said Wednesday.
The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the National Telecommunications Commission wrote a letter to the DPWH, reminding it of the commitment to improve right-of-way regulations signed during a summit in 2017.
The DICT and NTC said the public works department should "look into the feasibility of proposed amendments" to Department Order 73 s. 2014 providing right-of-way rules and regulations.
The DO prohibits posts and towers of electric cooperatives and major distributors, distribution lines, posts for cable of phones and mobile service providers along national roads.
The said order "results in difficulties for public telecommunication entities as they proceed with the implementation of their roll-out plans for critical backbone and last mile connectivity," the NTC and DICT said.
The amendments are being pushed by the Telecommunications Monitoring Group (TMG), established to help improve telco services in the country.
“The indispensable use not just of telecommunications, but also of the Internet and other information services in the new normal, highlights the urgent need for equitable access to affordable, quality and reliable ICT connectivity,” DICT Secretary Gregorio B. Honasan II said.
“This will only be possible through the accelerated rollout of ICT networks and infrastructure, so our priority is to develop enabling policies that address the private sectors’ complaints against red tape that serve as a cause of delay in the rollout of infrastructure for both telecommunicatìons as well as information services,” he added.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier urged telcos to improve their services by December. Globe Telecom, PLDT Inc and even third player DITO have hastened rollout of infrastructure to accelerate improvements.
The Department of Energy was also earlier ordered by the Senate to address and relocate electric poles built on widened roads.