Wednesday, July 5, 2023

ARTA, Smart co-host the 2nd Telco Workshop on Energizing Telco Towers

The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) and its Better Regulations Office (BRO) are all set for the 2nd Telco Workshop on 4 July 2023 at Ascott Makati, Glorietta 4 Ayala Center, Makati City. This event, hosted by Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart), is part of ARTA's 'Bayanihan' initiatives, aiming to address bottlenecks in permitting, licensing, and authorizing processes for the energization of telecommunications towers in the Philippines, ultimately improving connectivity in remote areas.

Following the successful first workshop co-hosted by Globe Telecom on 19 May 2023, various concerns were raised, including non-standardized processes, delays, confusion, inconsistent fees, and requirements, and a lack of coordination and communication in energizing telco towers. The 2nd Telco Workshop aims to address these issues and foster collaboration among National Government Agencies (NGAs), Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), and Independent Tower Companies (ITCs) to accelerate internet connectivity nationwide.

The upcoming workshop provides a platform for government agencies and private sector partners to share recommended practices for fast-tracking the energization of telco towers. These efforts align with President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.'s directives to expedite government transactions and enhance bureaucratic efficiency in the country.

ARTA Secretary Ernesto V. Perez will deliver opening remarks to reiterate the Authority's mandate under the Ease of Doing Business (EODB) law and advocate for streamlining and digitalization of government processes through a whole-of-nation approach. Alfredo S. Panlilio, President, and CEO of PLDT Inc. and Smart Communications, Inc., will also express support for the 2nd Telco Workshop and ARTA's efforts in improving the telco sector through public-private collaborations.

The workshop will see the participation of representatives from NGAs such as DHSUD, NEA, DPWH, PABO, DILG, and DICT. Confirmed participants from MNOs include Globe Telecom, Smart Communications Inc., PLDT Inc., Converge ICT Solutions Inc., and DITO Telecommmunity. Additionally, anticipated representatives from ITCs, such as ISON Towers Inc., SBA Towers, PhilTower Consortium Inc., and several others, will also attend.

Other participants from PSAC, PhilRECA, World Bank Group, USAID – Better Access and Connectivity Project Team, and PwC will also join the event.

ARTA remains committed to enhancing bureaucratic efficiency in the regulatory system to address connectivity issues in the Philippines, ensuring the digital transformation of government processes. Secretary Perez looks forward to the workshop's success in strengthening collaborations with private stakeholders in the telco sector to enhance public service delivery in the country.

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