Passage of ICT infra bill pushed

Globe Telecom Inc. said on Tuesday the passage of a bill removing a significant roadblock in the rollout of telecommunications infrastructure in villages, subdivisions, and housing projects nationwide will accelerate its goal of establishing a “first world network” in the Philippines.

Froilan Castelo, Globe General Counsel, said the company is “optimistic” that the Senate will follow the lead of the House of Representatives in passing the said bill, which will mandate all housing projects, subdivisions, villages, or other residential areas, including socialized housing projects, to allocate 30 percent of the gross area for open space to establish ICT infrastructure and related amenities.

The House of Representatives recently approved on third and final reading House Bill 10388 or An Act Mandating the Allocation of an Area for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Infrastructure and Facilities in Subdivisions and Housing Development Projects. 

The piece of legislation seeks to promote the accessibility of ICT and ensure digital connectivity in urban centers and populated areas of the country.

“We are thankful to our lawmakers for their support. This piece of legislation helps address the permitting issues for right-of-way and cell site development in villages and subdivisions that affect Globe’s commitment to delivering a #1stWorldNetwork to Filipino homes,” Castelo said.

Globe has long been lamenting the permitting issues with homeowners’ associations (HOAs) in establishing right-of-way in subdivisions to deploy broadband fiber and construct cell sites. 

These associations mainly refuse the construction of telco infrastructure citing health risks and aesthetic reasons. Health officials both here and abroad have already debunked the health risks associated with frequencies emitted by towers.

Castelo said the passage of the bill will enable Globe to further expand its network, a move that is consistent with its goal of capitalizing on the increased demand for Internet connectivity amid the pandemic.

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