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New EO signed will give telcos easier satellite access to help improve internet nationwide

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Telco companies, internet service providers (ISP), and value-added service providers, who are registered with the NTC, are now given direct access to all satellite systems.

This is after Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte signed Executive Order 127 that amends the EO 467.

Back in September 2020, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry has requested the president to amend the EO 467, which puts a franchise requirement before any company can get access to satellite systems — to which the president just did.

The Executive Order 127 has new regulations and policy guidelines for the use and operation of international satellite telco services and facilities in the Philippines.

Under the new EO, telcos, VAS, and ISPs registered with the NTC are allowed to have access to international, domestic, fixed, or mobile satellite systems. This will allow these companies to build and operate facilities that can offer internet services to the people.

Even broadcast service providers are being allowed but are subject to NTC regulations, rules, and authorizations.

The new EO also requires the NTC to update its regulations and speed up its administrative process to allow ISPs and VAS providers to use, access, operate directly, and own internet service facilities that use satellite technologies like Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN), Very Small Aperture Terminals (VSATs), and other similar medium.

VSAT is the same technology that the DICT uses to offer free WiFi in remote islands in Mindanao.

Moreover, the EO 127 will update the “direct access” definition. It used to refer to measures that permit direct dealings between international satellite system providers and authorized entities.

Now, it refers to any of several measures permitting direct dealings between the same parties at NTC’s defined levels.

It also requires the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), with feedback from concerned sectors and agencies, to constantly review the policy’s responsiveness and give recommendations to the Office of the President.

The DICT and NTC will also coordinate with each other to issue the necessary rules and regulations for the national policy rollout for inclusive access to satellite services within 30 days after the order is issued.

Source: PNA

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