Where’s the 3rd telco?


ORIGINALLY the bidding for the country’s third telco player was set in March this year, after President Rodrigo Duterte gave the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) marching orders to fast-track the selection process.

This was supposed to fulfill one of his campaign promises in response to public clamor for faster internet service that the duopoly of PLDT and Globe have failed to provide.

Then the deadline was extended to May, as announced by DICT Acting Secretary Eliseo Rio Jr., to give prospective bidders more time to submit the requirements.

Now it’s going to be moved to September, as Rio and the DICT oversight committee still have to meet next week to approve the terms of reference (TOR) for the bidding.

Rio was quoted in a broadsheet as saying: “What we plan to approve is a draft, so stakeholders can see it.” He expects the final TOR to take effect in late June or early July, and bidders would be given two months to submit their offers.

What’s taking the DICT so long to award the 3G, 4G, and potential 5G frequencies? Meantime, Filipinos are suffering from frequent dropped calls and the slowest internet speed in this part of the globe.

p: wjg