DICT backs plan to allow telcos to use ROW to speed up cell towers deployment

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) is allowing telecommunications companies to occupy a portion of the government’s right of way (ROW) to accelerate the build up cellular towers in a bid to improve the country’s connectivity.

The Department of Public Works and Highway issued an order allowing telcos and ICT service providers to “construct and undertake excavations and/or restoration work for ICT Infrastructure projects within the allowable ROW limits of the national roads.

“To address the increased need for internet connectivity services during the state of public health emergency, we must prioritize the faster rollout of ICT infrastructures like cellular towers DICT Secretary Gregorio B. Honasan II said.

Since last year, DICT, National Telecommunications Commission and the Anti-Red Tape Authority had been urging the DPWH to revisit and establish more “conducive” ROW regulations to help improve internet connectivity in the country.

“PLDT and Smart are committed to working with the government in ensuring continuous service and great experience for our customers as we keep them safe and connected amid the pandemic,” said Alfredo S. Panlilio, Smart Communications president and CEO.

PLDT and Smart are investing as much as P92 billion for the continued expansion of their networks. Globe, meanwhile, has set aside an all-time high P70 billion for its capex this year.

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