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‘Di lang China ang tingnan: Bam wants 4th telco player

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Senator Bam Aquino on Thursday said the country needs more than three telcos (telecommunication companies) to have a healthy competition among internet service providers.

He said competition will help lower the price and improve the quality of internet service in the country. “We should look at other countries aside from China.”

“Nalulunod na nga sa taas ng presyo ng bilihin, pati internet napakamahal dito sa atin,” Aquino said.

“Mahal na nga, mabagal pa,” said Aquino, chairman of the Committee on Science and Technology.

He is currently working on Senate Bill No. 171 or the Open Access in Data Transmission Act of 2016.

If enacted into law, SBN 171 will enable more players into and promote competition in the internet industry.

In the 16th Congress, he led a probe into the slow and expensive internet in the country during his stint as chairman of the Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship.

He said the probe helped determine needed legislation to address the internet problem in the country and led to the release of a Department of Justice opinion on telco advertising.

The hearing 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.

As chairman of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology, Aquino pushed for the passage of Republic Act 10929 or the Free Internet Access Program in Public Places.