DICT likely to name third telco in PH by October

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The Department of Information Technology and Communication (DICT) may finally name the third telecommunication company that will break the ‘duopoly’ of Globe Telecom and Smart Communications in the country.

In an interview over DZMM, DICT Acting Secretary Eliseo Rio said he is set to meet with the oversight committee on Friday, July 20, to urged them to ‘put their act together’ and emphasize the need to implement President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive.

The President has been very vocal about his willingness to challenge Globe and Smart by introducing a new competitor in the telecommunication industry.

However, Rio said there have been some ongoing discussions on the ‘term of reference’ for the selection process that has yet to be resolved.

Acting Sec. Rio Photo Credit: DICT-Facebook

Apparently, according to Rio, the stakeholders – the prospective bidders and the consumer groups – ‘overwhelmingly’ prefer the term of reference that would ensure the ‘highest committed level of service’ as main criteria in the selection process over ‘auction’ or highest bid.

“Because we are forcing the third player to put up money upfront which has nothing to do with the rollout of infrastructure and it has nothing to do with improving the services,” Rio explained.

Rio also admitted the possible announcement of the third player may not make it to the President’s SONA this month for lack of time in finalizing the process.

However, the official said it may be announced by October; should the term of reference be finally agreed upon.

Rio also revealed there are at least five companies who have expressed their interest in the selection process but the number will still largely depend on the approved term of reference.