Gov't expects 5,000 telecom towers to be built per year in next 3 years to improve services
The government is expecting the construction of an average 5,000 telecommunication towers annually in the next three years to improve connectivity, an official said on Tuesday.
Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the Duterte administration recognizes existing challenges in the efforts to connect people.
He noted the ratio of one tower to 4,000 households; the minimal use of poles or microtowers and in-building solutions; low number of towers, fiber, backhaul, and fiber network; and inadequate investment in connectivity in missionary areas.
To address the challenges, Nograles said the Department of Information and Communications Technology has adopted the CHIP Conceptual Framework. CHIP stands for connect, harness, innovate, protect.
"Following the CHIP framework and ongoing DICT efforts, the government expects an average of 5,000 towers per year to be built over the next three years. Government also plans to continue fast-tracking program and projects such as the National Broadband Program, the Free WIFI for all program, and the National Government Data Center," he said.
During the Cabinet meeting, which President Rodrigo Duterte convened on Monday, Nograles said among the proposals that were approved to improve connectivity are:
''The issuance of a joint memorandum circular for fiber, common poles, and in-building solutions for national compliance; provide provisional approval for right of way for DICT infrastructure projects, especially National Broadband Program Phase 1 and Luzon Bypass Infrastructure; allow telcos to continue work during emergencies;
''Issue a memorandum circular to effect separate health protocols for telco manpower; consider power capacity requirements of telcos and/or ICT infrastructure; issue a regulation for a fixed table of regulatory fees imposed by local government units on ICT infra-structure and issue regulations on a standard fee for telcos to install and repair at the Barangay level;
Urge LGUs to fast-track issuance of Certificate of Final Electrical Inspection; and urge LGUs to streamline requirements and procedures for shorter turnaround-time in processing permits.
Last year, Duterte threatened to expropriate telcos if they fail to improve their services. Celerina Monte/DMS