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DPWH told: Work on ‘conducive’ RoW

The order prohibits posts and towers of electric cooperatives and major distributors, distribution lines, posts for cable of phones and mobile service providers along national roads.

Elmer Navarro Manuel

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The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) on Wednesday disclosed that the agency — along with the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) — urged the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to revisit, amend and establish more “conducive” right-of-way (RoW) regulations to help improve internet connectivity in the country.

In a letter sent by the DICT and NTC to the DPWH, they reminded the Public Works department of its commitment to improve right-of-way regulations signed during a summit in 2017.

The DICT and NTC said the public works department should “look into the feasibility of proposed amendments” to Department Order (DO) 73 series of 2014 providing right-of-way rules and regulations.

The order also prohibits posts and towers of electric cooperatives and major distributors, distribution lines, posts for cable of phones and mobile service providers along national roads.

It added that “results in difficulties for public telecommunication entities as they proceed with the implementation of their roll-out plans for critical backbone and last mile connectivity,” according to the NTC and DICT.

The amendments are being pushed by the Telecommunications Monitoring Group (TMG), established to help improve telco services in the country.

“The indispensable use not just of telecommunications, but also of the Internet and other information services in the new normal, highlights the urgent need for equitable access to affordable, quality and reliable ICT connectivity,” DICT Secretary Gregorio B. Honasan II said.

“This will only be possible through the accelerated rollout of ICT networks and infrastructure, so our priority is to develop enabling policies that address the private sectors’ complaints against red tape that serve as a cause of delay in the rollout of infrastructure for both telecommunications as well as information services,” he added.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier urged telcos to improve their services by December. Globe Telecom, PLDT Inc., and even third player DITO, have hastened rollout of infrastructure to accelerate improvements.

The Department of Energy was also earlier ordered by the Senate to address and relocate electric poles built on widened roads.

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