A MINIMUM fixed-line internet speed of 50 megabits per second (Mbps) can be achieved by 2020 if the challenges to constructing telecommunications and broadband infrastructure are properly addressed, Globe Telecom said on Tuesday.
In a statement, Globe Chief Technology and Information Officer Gil Genio said Filipinos could enjoy such speed, compared with between two and 10 Mbps in many connected homes today, if the government and other stakeholders work together to overcome these challenges.
The Ayala-led telecommunications giant identified some of these as ambiguity on the government’s proposed National Broadband Plan and Open Access Law; unfavorable geography; and red tape.
“There is still [a] lack of clarity on what is called ‘Open Access,’” Genio noted. “There are a lot of bills, discussions, and policy statements, but nothing has been pushed forward.”
Under the National Broadband Plan, the government will construct common towers and lease these out to telecommunications companies (telcos).
“Adopting an Open Access model will also open up the industry to local and foreign players, as it allows sharing physical infrastructure across multiple operators. [This,] in turn, significantly improves cost-effectiveness,” the Globe official explained.
“This is very important as we roll out more fiber (optic cables). I believe the single biggest positive thing the country can do is to overcome [the] obstacles in permitting and right of way, so that we can build even more,” he said.
According to Genid, red tape delays local government units’ (LGUs) issuance of various permits to build telco infrastructure.
“We need to be able to develop partnerships among all stakeholders. The Philippines is sometimes not fiber-friendly, let alone fiber-ready. I only know [of] very few buildings where developers have already…put fiber horizontally [in] units,” he said.
Globe is also having a hard time establishing right-of-way in subdivisions in deploying those cables, according to the official.
“Today, we have to go to each and every developer and convince them about the benefits of fiber. In rolling out fiber to homes, we need to work with electricity distribution utilities, homeowner associations, and others to be able to serve people with fiber faster and more efficiently,” he added.
The homeowners’ associations of at least 25 exclusive villages in Metro Manila had barred the telco from building cell sites within their vicinity, preventing it from improving mobile and internet coverage in those areas, Globe said.