President Duterte Signs EO Expanding Telecommunications Companies’ Access To Satellite Systems

President Duterte signed an EO expanding telecommunications companies’ access to satellite systems.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday signed an executive order (EO) expanding telecommunications companies’ access to satellite systems.

Duterte EO Satellite Systems

In a report on CNN Philippines, President Duterte signed an executive order expanding access of telecommunications companies to satellite systems as a way of improving internet services in the country.

Executive Order 127 allowed internet service providers (ISPs) and value-added service (VAS) providers registered with the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to have direct access to all satellite systems. This would enable those service providers to build and operate broadband facilities that offered internet services.

The newly-signed executive order amended Executive Order 467, which provided guidelines on the use of international satellite telecommunications facilities and services in the Philippines.

In recent years, high-speed wired and wireless data networks providing interactive connection to the internet have emerged as powerful drivers of economic and social change such that access to the internet has become a basic household need for Filipinos,” the executive order stated.

Broadcast service providers were also allowed direct access to satellite systems in accordance with the rules, authorizations, and regulations of the National Telecommunications Commission.

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The new EO ordered the National Telecommunications Commission to expedite administrative processes and to update its regulations in order to enable value-added service providers and internet service providers to “directly access, utilize, own, and operate” internet access service facilities using satellite technologies.

Executive Order 127 also updated the definition of “direct access” which described as “dealings between authorized entities and satellite system providers at specified levels as defined by the NTC.”

In his “State of the Nation Address” last year, President Duterte ordered Globe Telecom and Smart Communications to improve their internet services by the end of 2020 or else he would take over their operations.

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) urged telecommunications companies to support the department’s Common Tower project aimed at improving internet services in the Philippines.

This would enable them to reach a wider population and to enhance their wireless network coverage and quality of information and communications technology services.

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