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NEWS UPDATES 29 July 2009

Philippine agency to speed up broadband drive

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Philippines National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) plans to issue new rules that would liberalise the Internet broadband industry to ensure universal access by next year, reported the Manila Times.

The paper quoted Ruel Canobas, NTC commissioner, as saying the move is in line with the targets of the Medium Term Philippine Development Plan (MTPDP). NTC’s updated MTPDP for 2008 to 2010 requires that all municipalities have 100-percent access to broadband Internet by next year.

The country’s economic blueprint also identifies measures to make the digital infrastructure cheaper and more accessible across the country through lower connectivity costs, regulatory reforms, among others.

Edgardo Cabarios, NTC director for the common carrier and authorization department, said the regulator will issue rules on the reallocation of more frequency for Internet broadband wireless access (BWA). “We will also enhance the competition in the market place,” he added.

The agency said the reallocation of bands for BWA for fixed, nomadic and wireless networks would help government meet its various information and communications technology goals and bridge the digital divide in the country.

Data from the NTC showed that Internet broadband connectivity in urban areas stood at 100 percent as against 40 percent in rural areas. The regulator said 70 percent of households and 75 percent of businesses have access to wireless broadband service.

The NTC also is set to formulate guidelines on the provision of content, information, applications and electronic games; guidelines on access charge between mobile network service providers and content providers; regulation for digital TV broadcast service and the frequency migration plan for digital TV. Earlier, the agency issued circulars extending the life of prepaid loads, and banning spam messages.


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