The technical audit of third telecom player DITO Telecommunity started yesterday to assess its compliance on the required minimum internet speed and coverage where its P25.7-billion performance bond is at stake, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) said.
Edgardo Cabarios, NTC deputy commissioner, told Malaya Business Insight in a phone interview that out of five audit firms, two were shortlisted and later, independent auditor R.G. Manabat & Co., an affiliate of international audit firm KPMG, was chosen to conduct the test.
The 30-day audit, to be completed early next month, will test the connectivity and internet speeds in various areas of the country to ensure that DITO complies with its requirement to cover 37 percent of the population and provide a minimum average internet speed of 27 megabits per second.
If DITO fails the technical audit, it has six months to remedy its operation. Cabarios emphasized that DITO’s performance bond will only be forfeited if the telco fails to comply after two remediation periods.
“NMP (new major player) shall be allowed a period of six months to remedy such breach and shall only be allowed two remediations within the commitment period,” the rules and regulations on the selection process for the NMP stated.
“Upon failure of the NMP to remedy the breach within the period allowed, the NTC shall: forfeit the performance security; consider the breach to be a breach of the special conditions in the CPCN (certificate of public convenience and necessity), impose applicable penalty and bring a quo warrant proceeding,” the rules also said.
In a statement, Adel Tamano, DITO chief administrative officer, said the company is confident it will pass the audit.
“For the past months, amid the difficulties posed by the current global pandemic, DITO has made great strides in the roll-out to ensure that the results of the audit will be positive,” Tamano said.
The field test to be conducted by the independent auditor is expected to be completed within 30 days, plus another 15 days in which to prepare the final report. The tests will use a percentage of the identified 1,600 sites that cover 8,800 barangays in the Philippines as the base for the audit.
Tamano said the result of the audit does not affect the planned commercial rollout this March.
“As I have said before, DITO Telecommunity is poised to finally offer its services to the Filipino people in March; world class connectivity that they truly deserve, as we launch commercially,” he said.