A telecommunications services provider applauded the government for expediting the issuance of permits for telecommunications projects, which aided in the improvement of broadband speed in the country.

Broadband operators must roll out their network unimpeded to deliver better services for the Filipino people, said Converge ICT Solutions, Inc. Chief strategy officer Benjamin Azada said on Wednesday, August 11, 2021.

“We’ve seen huge improvement in the speed of permitting,” Azada said during the virtual economic forum of the Economic Journalists Association of the Philippines and Aboitiz Equity Ventures.

He added that all-important legislations are already in place to help telecommunication companies to improve their services.

“What we need to do, therefore, is to be able to get the permits to roll out from both national and local government —but also building administrators, homeowners associations— get those on a timely basis,” Azada said.

He said the functions of the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) and the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) have facilitated the improvement of telecommunication services in the country by ensuring ease of doing business and fair market behavior for industry players.

Last year, President Rodrigo Duterte directed concerned government offices both in the national and local government to fast-track the processing of pending applications for common towers.

According to ARTA, at least 26,636 permits were already released in the telecommunication sector as of June 2021.

Ease of doing business was also facilitated by cutting the number of permits needed from 13 to eight, documentary requirements from 86 to 15, and length of time for processing from 241 days to 16 days, ARTA said.

For its part, Azada said Converge has formed a team dedicated to working on permit applications.

The team ensures that requirements for applying permits are complete and also does the follow-up to agencies.

Meanwhile, as interconnectivity is critical during this “new normal”, Azada said Converge has beefed up its installation team and repair team to respond faster to its customers.

He added there was a surge in demand for broadband connectivity as Filipinos adjust to the “new normal” of work and studying.

New subscribers of the telecommunication firm increased up to 60,000 in May and June 2020 from 33,000 gross adds in January to February 2020, two months before the pandemic.

Source: https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1150126