Dasmariñas Village resident Betty Dante Aw urged telecom companies to give consumers more options in accessing mobile and internet services, instead of filing ‘harassment’ cases against them.
Unfazed by a P5 million civil suit filed against her by Ayala-led Globe Telecom Inc., self-confessed wellness and health advocate Aw stressed that access to better internet and mobile services should not come at the expense of consumers.
“I can’t understand why they are suing me. I am just airing my side and what most people know about the health risks of ODAS (outdoor distributed antenna system),” Aw told The Manila Times in a telephone interview.
“We are not opposing better services. In fact, I am a Globe user. We just want alternative solutions from the company that does not compromise the health of our families,” Aw said.
“They said that access to internet is a human right. But we also have our freedom of choice. This is what Globe should do, provide an alternative solution. And we are here to help the government provide solution to the problem,” she added.
Aw, who was at the posh Dasmariñas Village during the telephone interview, was irked by the poor mobile service despite the claim supposedly made by Globe that its facilities in the area underwent an upgrade.
“In fact, we have discovered recently that four ODAS were installed since 2008. And now there are 55-57 ODAS. Even with these, the mobile services in our area are still obviously poor,” she said.
On Wednesday, Globe said that more than half of the households in Dasmariñas Village had no decent mobile coverage due to the resistance of some homeowners.
Globe said that without ODAS in the upscale subdivision, only about 44 percent of its subscribers in the area were able to get good mobile signal.
According to Globe, Dasmariñas residents who oppose the use of ODAS are violating the rights of other residents.
In June 2016, the UN Human Rights council declared that internet access was a basic human right.
In the case of Dasmariñas, Globe was able to get the approval of the Dasmariñas Village Association, Inc. (DVAI) to use ODAS technology in 2012. The installation of ODAS was a response to complaints of poor telecom signal inside the subdivision.
Globe obtained the permits to construct, install and operate ODAS the village. In April this year, Globe was able to get the consent to continue operating its ODAS network for five years.
However, some residents that included Aw continued to oppose the use of Globe ODAS inside Dasmariñas despite the approval.
For getting in the way of establishing telco infrastructure in Dasmariñas, Globe filed a civil suit against Aw, claiming moral damages amounting to P5 million, exemplary damages of 500,000 plus attorneys’ fees.
Globe can prove that the absence of ODAS in Dasmariñas contributed to slow internet and poor mobile experience in the village, the telco noted.
“It would be very difficult for Aw to prove that cell sites cause adverse health effects on humans, because all health experts and the scientific community—whether local or international—have already agreed that the available data is non-conclusive,” Globe said.
The ODAS network system deepens mobile coverage by bringing radio signals closer to end-users. Globe is the first telco service provider in the country to use the ODAS solution.