Poe to Dito telco: No 27mpbs connection, no new franchise

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    SEN. Grace Poe on Tuesday said Dito Telecommunity Corp. has until January next year to deliver on its commitment to provide at least 27 mpbs internet speed to its subscribers, which she said will be used as a yardstick to determine if its franchise should be renewed for another 25 years.

    Poe, chairwoman of the Senate public services committee, said a technical evaluation will be made by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) by January next year to check if the Dito has complied with its commitment of improving internet speed to at least 27 mpbs during its first year as the country’s third telco.

    Dito has said the high-speed internet connection will cover 37 percent of the 42,045 barangays nationwide. On its fifth year, Dito said the connection will be faster at 55 mbps and will cover 84 percent of the barangays.

    “Dito’s franchise will not expire until 2023, and before we grant that franchise, they must fulfill the commitments they’ve made which were supposed to have been delivered in July (this year). But because of the pandemic, they sought and were given an extension until January next year, subject to a technical evaluation,” Poe said in an interview on ANC.

    “As of now the tone that they (Dito) have is that the initial deliverables will be met by January. Now, let’s see if that will happen. If they have that by January, it will be a good indication that their franchise will be approved,” Poe said.

    “So, after they show that they are able to honor their commitments and provide for all of those, then that will be a basis for us to determine if they’re really eligible for another 25 years,” she added.

    Dito, formerly Mislatel, won the bidding to be the country’s third telco in 2018. Among its commitments were to provide a minimum average broadband speed of 27 mbps on its first year and make it faster at 55 mbps on its fifth year, when it should have covered 84 percent of the population.

    Its original franchise was granted by Congress in 1998 and is set to expire in 2023.