DITC urged to prioritize TRI over satellite internet services
The Department of Information and Communication Technologies (DICT) should prioritize the publication of implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of Decree 127, which liberalizes access to satellite services and allows private companies to provide digital connectivity in unserved and underserved areas.
This, according to the civil society Covid-19 Action Network (CAN), will help in pandemic response initiatives, as the decree will remove barriers to access to satellites.
“The current Covid-19 pandemic has explicitly shown us how vital internet access and connectivity are for economic growth, the provision of basic services, the elimination of bureaucracy, freedom of information, disaster preparedness, public safety, climate change preparedness, adaptability to online work and school delivery, and health system resilience, ”the group said.
With the publication of the rules and regulations implementing the decree, signed on March 10 this year, private companies could start offering satellite Internet services in unserved and underserved areas.
Satellite Internet is seen as a last mile solution for regions where fixed and wireless Internet connectivity is scarce due to business viability issues.
“The lack of digital connectivity and legal barriers to Internet access have hampered our task of flattening the pandemic curve,” the group noted.
The TRI for OE 127 should have been published 30 days after signing. He was delayed for over a month.
“We appeal to the secretary [Gregorio] Honasan II will issue the necessary implementing rules and regulations, which will be consistent with the envisaged reform, ”CAN said. “Amid the increased risks of the relentless transmission of Covid-19, we view OE and the results it will bring as a critical strategy to contain the pandemic.”