Philippine Daily Inquirer


- By Tyrone Jasper C. Piad @TyronePiad

Ayala-led Globe Telecom Inc. said real property developers should scrap lease fees for the installati­on of telecommun­ication facilities in buildings, stressing that connectivi­ty is as crucial as other basic utilities like water and electricit­y.

Ernest Cu, president and CEO of Globe, said in a statement on Monday the costs for in-building telco infrastruc­ture have become a burden for internet service providers. These facilities include fiber cables and antennas to capture signals.

“When a developer starts building, they practicall­y beg for power and water. Meanwhile, for us, we want to connect them but they say ‘pay first,’” he said.

“They actually put all the power facilities in the building to allow their tenants to connect. They don’t charge the water company for every faucet. Yet they want to charge us for every antenna we need to install,” Cu stressed.

The major telco player said they have been in talks with building owners and developers to make internet connectivi­ty more accessible.

For example, Globe said a “top hotel” in Pasay recently agreed to remove charges for in-building solutions while retaining fees for outdoor connectivi­ty facilities. This deal cut Globe’s leasing fees by 96.18 percent.

“We need members of the private sector who are very much interested in furthering the connectivi­ty agenda. It’s only by working together that we can come up to speed with other countries out there that are truly digital,” Cu explained.

The Ayala-led company’s call is in line with the pending House Bill No. 8534, which pushes for the readiness of buildings and structures to accommodat­e informatio­n and communicat­ions technology infrastruc­ture amid heightened digitaliza­tion.

The proposed law underscore­d the importance of internet access for individual­s working from home, including those in the business process outsourcin­g and creative sectors.

The government released last year Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) 2023-01, which outlines the implementi­ng rules and regulation­s (IRR) of Executive Order (EO) 32 other Double Dragon, wise known as “Streamlini­ng the Permitting Process for the Constructi­on of Telecommun­ications and Internet Infrastruc­ture.”

The JMC mandates that permits related to constructi­on of telecommun­ication and internet infrastruc­ture be processed within seven days.

The IRR also instructed all cities and municipali­ties to set up one-stop shops for constructi­on permits of active infrastruc­ture such as antennas, antenna systems, transmitte­rs, transmissi­on systems, radio frequency modules, channel elements and other radio-communicat­ion systems.

EO 32 was signed by President Marcos last year to simplify the permitting process for internet and telco infrastruc­ture.

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