Monday , June 27 2022

PCC: A draft common water policy is anti-competitive


BMI telcom tower

The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) said on Tuesday that the draft common policy policy, compiled by the Information and Communications Department (DICT) and the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), could be anti-competitive It allowed only two tower companies to operate in the first four years of operation.

"Approval of the Common Tower draft Policy in its current form … can raise competition concerns and be directly contrary to the open access system that the government recommends," said the PCC in His comments on the common memorandum (MC) circular on common towers.

"The PCC recommends that the relevant agencies review the Policy objective to ensure that it addresses specific issues related to the lack of ICT infrastructure (information and communication technology) necessary to improve telecommunications services in the country, as well as the lack of effective competition in the industry, "he added.

The DICT and the NTC announced in September the draft MC prepared by Ramon P. Jacinto, Presidential Adviser for Economic Affairs and Information Technology. Under the draft, the government will register in most two water companies to deal with the use of telecommunications infrastructure telcos can like PLDT, Inc. a Globe Telecom, Inc. share them.

The policy has aimed to tackle slow and inefficient towers, allowing water companies to focus solely on building and facilitation infrastructure burden on the telcos.

But the PCC said that the draft refining MC needed, as the limit on the number of TowerCos "would have an adverse impact on market competition."

"The PCC emphasizes that potential market access or access ensures that competitive pressures exist, which drive business to be more efficient, aggressive and innovative for the benefit consumers, "he said.

He noted that the purpose of the MC was to allow telco operators to share infrastructure, and restricting registered tower companies would not solve "duplicate waste network resources and multiple licenses, which have resulted in slow and poor delivery of the quality of services. "

"The PCC calls the relevant agencies to reassess an objective (the proposed restriction)," he said.

Globe and PLDT have raised concerns about the draft MC, noting that, apart from the restriction on anti-competitive tower companies, the policy's intention to keep their own towers presently contradicts their congressional franchise.

DICT Acting Secretary Eliseo M. Rio, Jr had previously acknowledged this deficit and said that further reviews would be made on the draft MC to acknowledge comments from stakeholders.

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