NTC Should Answer Allegations of IT Group on the Technical Audit of Dito

The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) should answer the allegations of an IT advocacy group regarding its technical audit of Dito Telecommunity, according to Senator Risa Hontiveros.

Dito Telecommunity
Photo credit to the owner

“If the agency will not be able to do so, it will only add to the public’s suspicion that it may be at the behest of the China-backed third telco. Hawak sa leeg din ba ng Tsina ang sarili nating ahensiya?” she said.

The franchise renewal of the third telco was approved by senators at the committee level amid allegations by Democracy.Net.Ph that the first network audit conducted this February was defective.

At the Senate hearing on Wednesday, Democracy.Net.Ph co-founder Pierre Galla said the NTC allowed sampling of a limited number of barangays to determine if Dito met its first-year commitment to the government.

According to Galla, instead of testing more than 8,800 barangays to verify whether Dito fulfilled its promise in the first year to cover 37 percent of the country’s population, the NTC allowed sampling in only 2,671 barangays.

He said field tests were also conducted on 200 cell sites from 1,602 active sites of Dito.

The senator added that there are many more questions to be answered.

“Has undue partiality really been shown to Dito during both the bidding and the audit process? Under this administration, a declared ally of the Chinese regime, could Dito have lost the bidding and is there really a chance it will not pass this audit?”

Meanwhile, Senator Grace Poe, chairman of the Senate public services committee, previously said that Dito was awarded third player status because the analysis showed that it has the ability to compete with two other major players.

Dito began its commercial rollout on Monday, March 8, in 15 locations in Visayas and Mindanao. It is expected to be available nationwide by mid-2021.

Dito has not yet given their side on the issue.

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