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Bam panel to conduct hearing on entry of more telco players in PH

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The government should keep the market open to more telecommunications companies to give the public a better choice for quality and affordable internet connection, according to Senator Bam Aquino.

“Kailangan natin ng dagdag-kumpetisyon sa ating bayan. Why limit the industry to 3 players? The more, the merrier the consumer,” said Aquino, principal sponsor of the law providing free internet in public places.

“Iyong mga bansa gaya ng Singapore na pagkaliit-liit, tatlo hanggang apat ang kanilang telco, tayo dalawa lang,” he added.

As chairman of the Committee on Science and Technology, Aquino will conduct a hearing on November 20 “to look into the possibility of adding more telco players to the mix.”

“Habang marami ang player at open ang playing field, mas maraming pagpipilian, mas gaganda ang serbisyo, at mas magmumura ang presyo para sa ating mga kababayan. Bakit natin ito pipigilan?” he said.

The senator added that the hearing will also investigate other issues about the third player Mislatel, including concerns about national security and accusations of spying against one of its partner China Telecoms.

Aquino has investigated the slow and expensive internet connection in the country since the 16th Congress during his time as chairman of the Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship.

Aside from determining necessary legislation to boost internet speed, the hearings also compelled the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to come out with guidelines on minimum internet speeds and conducted speed testing in various areas of the Philippines to check compliance of telcos.

Aquino also led the ‘Nakaw Load’ hearings in the Senate, allowing for irate customers to push for changes in the telcos’ policies on load deductions.