Senate grants telco 25-year franchise

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    The Senate committee on public services yesterday approved to grant Dito Telecommunity Corp. a fresh 25-year franchise.

    Sen. Grace Poe, panel chair, said the approval was made after Dito showed proof it has delivered on its service commitments as attested by the National Telecommunications Commission.

    Dito’s original franchise is under the Mindanao Islamic Telephone Company (Mislatel) and is to expire on April 2023.

    The telco’s franchise renewal considered its compliance to its service commitments, including providing at least 27 megabits per second of internet speed and cover 37 percent of the country’s population on its first year of operation.

    Failure to deliver on its commitment would have forfeited its P24-billion performance bond in favor of the government.

    Last month, the NTC cited an audit report conducted by independent auditor R.G. Manabat and Co. that Dito’s first year rollout covered 37.48 percent of the population in 8,609 of the country’s 42,045 barangays.

    The report also said the minimum average broadband speeds were recorded at 85.9 Mbps for 4G and 507.5 Mbps for 5G.

    The telco has 1,602 operational cellsites to date.

    Dito currently operates through the legislative franchise granted to Mislatel in 1998 which was transferred in 2019 to the consortium of Davao-based businessman Dennis Uy’s Udenna Corporation and Chelsea Logistics Corp. and China Telecommunications Corp.