The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) recently held the first Telecommunications Summit in the Philippines on March 9-10, 2017.


More Cell Towers for Faster Internet Speed

During the event, Globe and PLDT/Smart claimed that they have been exerting efforts in improving the internet speed in the country. However, their biggest challenge is in constructing additional cell towers.

More cell towers in an area will de-congest the network traffic which improves the internet speed. This is the same reason why you can download files faster during the wee hours of the night when less people are connected to the internet.


Challenges in Constructing Cell Towers

Comparison of the number of cell towers in Asia.

Comparison of the number of cell towers in Asia according to Globe’s presentation.

A telco needs as much as 25 different permits from the government in order to build one cell tower. Add to that the very long processing time and fees that can reach up to ₱200,000 per tower depending on the local government unit.

Homeowners associations of several affluent villages even reject cell tower construction proposals. The reason? A misguided fear of radiation from these infrastructures.

There’s even a problem of revolutionary tax in some areas in the country where rebel groups require telcos to pay. Otherwise, their cell tower will be bombed.


The First Solution

First Philippine Telecoms Summit.

First Philippine Telecoms Summit.

As an answer to the woes presented by the telcos, the DICT drafted an executive order that mandates LGUs to make a decision in 7 days for cell tower applications. “Solutions with no deadlines are no solutions at all,” DICT Secretary Rodolfo A. Salalima during the event.