ICT department issues guidelines on common tower policy

(Eagle News)–The Department of Information and Communications Technology has issued guidelines on the shared common policy.

The department said the issuance of Department Circular (DC) No. 008, s. 2020, dated May 29, that provides for the guidelines on Shared Passive Telecommunications Tower Infrastructure,  is in compliance with the directives of President Rodrigo Duterte.

The DICT said the directive was given through the Executive Secretary last  May 28.

“Under the Policy on Shared PTTIs, the DICT encourages the growth and development of Independent Tower Companies (ITCs) as a pioneering sector for the birth and development of a robust ICT environment of Shared PTTIs in line with the overall objective of enhancing wireless network coverage and quality of ICT services across the entire country,” the department said.

The DICT said the policy “seeks to widen the base of tower providers to fast-track the deployment of Shared PTTIs across all regions of the country, especially in the unserved and underserved areas.”

According to the policy, all entities engaged in the business of constructing, managing or operating one or more PTTIs in the Philippines shall register with the DICT, who upon review and consideration, shall issue an ITC Certificate of Registration to qualified applicant-entities.

The certificate shall be valid for five  years and renewable for the same period.

“Applicant ITCs should have at least the relevant construction experience, registration, license, and financial capacity of, or equivalent to, a contractor falling under Category A of the Philippine Contractors Accreditation Board to qualify. Currently, there are twenty-four (24) ITC participants under the previous common tower issuance,” the DICT said.

All PTTIs built or renovated after the issuance of this policy shall provide ample access slots for all telcos and the DICT to co-locate their respective antennas, receivers, transmitters, radio frequency modules, and other radio communications equipment.

The policy also provides that all private sector PTTI sharing agreements should be fair and non-exclusive by offering all telcos the same reasonably equivalent terms, conditions, and charges for co-locating or sharing in the same PTTI.

The DICT said barangays, Local Government Units (LGUs), national government agencies, and homeowners associations shall follow the mandated maximum time period for the issuance of necessary permits, clearances, and certifications as provided under Section 15 of R.A. 9485, otherwise known as the “Ease of Doing Business Act of 2018”.

“The finalization of this policy is a significant step in addressing the nation’s connectivity needs that is rendered more immediate by the pandemic,” DICT Secretary Gregorio Honasan II said.

“With this development, we aim to help improve, not only the internet condition, but also the state of the country’s socio-economic welfare through ICT in support of the President’s Balik Probinsya, Balik Pag-Asa Program,” he added.