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Fulfill commitment or face penalties


THE Dito Telecommunity Copr. (formerly Mislatel), the country’s third mobile player, was warned on Tuesday that it would be penalized if it fails to comply with its commitment to improve internet speed and coverage in the country in the next five years.

Sen. Mary Grace Poe, chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Services, issued the warning as she reminded the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) on the commitments of Dito.

During plenary deliberations of the proposed 2020 DICT budget on Monday, the senator said on its first year, which will end on July 8, 2020, Dito is obliged to cover at least 37 percent of the population, with an average minimum internet speed of 27 megabits per second (mbps).

Over a five-year period, it promised to cover 84 percent of the country and offer internet speed of at least 55 mbps.

On Poe’s questioning, Sen. Panfilo Lacson, sponsor of the DICT budget, said not one cell site had been completed by Dito.

“That is quite alarming because by July 2020, it should have al ready [set up] 2,500 cell sites [nationwide],” Poe replied.

Lacson, however, said the setting up of cell sites could be finished in two months.

Poe noted that under the franchise agreement, “for every non-compliance, there are penalties.”

“If they are not able to fully deliver on their commitment, there are penalties,” she added.

Lacson said Dito’s commitment was backed up by a performance security amounting to P25.7 billion for the first year, P10.7 billion for the second year, P8 billion for the third year, P5.3 billion for the fourth year and P2.7 billion for the fifth year.

Dito was given a six-month grace period to comply with the requirements, he added.

Poe said the public would look forward to the completion of the new cell sites because Filipinos hope that this will improve telecommunications services.

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