|Regulator||National Telecommunications Commission|
|Ministry||Department of Information and Communications Technology|
The Public Telecommunications Policy Act of the Philippines (Republic Act 7925) governs the development and delivery of public telecommunications in the country
It states in its policy declaration that “telecommunications is essential to the economic development, integrity and security of the Philippines, and as such shall be developed and administered as to safeguard, enrich and strength the economic, cultural, social and political fabric of the Philippines.”
The law recognizes that it is the government's fundamental objective to develop and maintain a viable, efficient, reliable and universal telecommunication infrastructure using the best available and affordable technologies, as a vital tool to nation building and development. Moreover, RA 7925 states in its policy declaration that expansion of the telecommunications network shall give priority to improving and extending basic services to areas not yet served. Moreover, it stipulates that the government shall promote a fair, efficient and responsive market to stimulate the growth and development of the telecommunications facilities and services at affordable rates.
To be able to operate telecommunications services, an organization will have to first secure a congressional franchise and a certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) which will prove their financial, technical and legal capability to offer the proposed services. On top of this, carriers (including small local operators) also have a number of other licenses they must acquire for operation, including environmental clearance certificates, height clearances, and the local mayor’s permit. All in all, there are as many as 25 permits needed for each cell site. The sheer number of required permits is very difficult for a small entity to complete.
Pursuant to RA 7925, no person/ entity may conduct telecom business without obtaining a franchise. This franchise, as embedded in the Article XII of the Philippine Constitution, may only be granted to citizens of the Philippines or to corporations or associations organized under the Philippine laws and may only be granted by the Congress. However, the participation/ ownership of foreign investors in any public utility enterprise, in this case the telecom industry, is limited to 40% and all executive and managing officers of a certain telecom corporation must be citizens of the Philippines.
Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN)
CPCN, as issued by the NTC, requires carriers to prove that they are technically and financially viable to operate. It contains the description of service, specific rate to be charged for the service and regulations, among others. In granting a CPCN, NTC may impose conditions such as the duration and termination of the privilege, concession, or standard or technical aspects of the equipment, rates, or services. The validity of the CPCN shall not be shorter than 5 years but not longer than the life of the franchise granted. Any expansion/ upgrading/ financing of networks and services aimed at providing additional services to cater to the demand which utilizes equipment compatible to or homologous to previously approved plant and facilities, shall not require any approval by the Commission.
In addition to the requirements mentioned above, a radio operator is also subject to file for the following permits/licenses
- Issuance of Renewal/Modification/Duplicate of Radio Stations in the Fixed and Land Mobile Public Radio Communication Network (CP)
- On-line Importation Process (For Customer Premises equipment with WDN/RFID Module) thru the National Single Windo|w (NSW) System.
- Permit to Import, Release Clearance, Certificate of Exemption.
- Release Clearance.
- Issuance of New/Revalidation/Replacement of STCW Certificate of Competency (COC).
- General Operator Certificate (GOC).
- Radio Electronic Certificate (REC).
- Restricted Radio Operator Certificate – Ship (RROC-Ship).
- Issuance of New/Renewal/Modification/Duplicate of Radio Stations including Temporary Permit for Fixed and Land Mobile Radio Communication Network (CV/CO).
- Private Radio Communication Network (CV) – VHF/UHF, Simplex/Semi-Duplex Mode of transmission.
- Government Radio Communication Network (CO) – VHF/UHF, Simplex/Semi-Duplex Mode of transmission.
- CIVIC Radio Communication Network (CV) – VHF, Simplex Mode of transmission.
- Issuance of Permit to Purchase, Permit to Possess, Construction Permit, Permit to Sell/Transfer, Permit to Transport for Fixed and Land Mobile Service (CV/CP/CO/Amateur).
- Issuance of New/Renewal/Duplicate/Modification of Commercial and Non-Commercial Radio Operator’s Certificate.
- Issuance of New/Renewal/Modification of Domestic Maritime Ship Radio Station (CV/CO) and Domestic Maritime Coastal Radio Station (CV/CP).
- Issuance of Renewal/Modification/Duplicate of International Maritime Ship Radio Stations, Shipboard Stations, Ship Security Alert System (SSAS), Long Ranged Identification and Tracking License (LRIT).
- Issuance of New/Renewal/Modification/Duplicate of Domestic Aircraft and Fixed Radio Stations.
- Issuance of Permit to Purchase, Permit to Possess, Construction Permit, Permit to Sell/Transfer, Permit to transport for Maritime an Aeronautical service.
- Issuance of New/Renewal/Duplicate/Modification Radio Dealer/Manufacturer/Service Center Permits.
- Issuance of New/Renewal/Duplicate/Modification of Customer Premises Accreditation/Mobile Phone Dealer/Mobile Phone Retailer/Reseller/Mobile Phone Service Center Permits.
- Issuance of New/Renewal/Modification/Duplicate of Amateur Radio Station/Radio Operator’s Certificate
- Issuance of Equipment Registration Certificate for WDN Indoor Equipment, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Devices and Short Range (SRD) Devices.
- Issuance of Permits and Licenses for Wireless Data Network (WDN/Spread Spectrum) and Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) Networks (new/renewal/modification).
<callout type=“tip” icon=“true”>Detailed documentary requirements can be found listed on the forms for each license/permit.</callout>
Current Spectrum Assignment
Spectrum Fees / Costs
Lifted from National Broadband Plan
As an archipelago of more than 7000 islands, the Philippines' international access and connectivity is supported mainly by submarine cable systems. Overall, as of first quarter of 2016, there are seven (7) international submarine cable landing stations which are operational (active) in the country. These are operated by PLDT, Globe Telecom and Telstra/Pacnet.
To supplement submarine cable systems connecting the country globally and complement the domestic backbones, there are at least eighteen (18) satellite providers that cater their VSAT services in the country.
The backbone infrastructure comprise of PLDT's Domestic Fiber Optic Network (DFON) and Globe Telecom's Fiber Optic Backbone Network (FOBN). In addition to this is the National Grid Corporation of the Philippine’s (NGCP) private telecommunication network nationwide.
On a policy standpoint, the government recognizes the importance of public telecommunications services. There is a provision in the Philippine Telecommunication Act (Republic Act 7925) that mandates telcos to give high priority in extending basic services to unserved areas. Moreover, it stipulates that “government shall promote a fair, efficient and responsive market to stimulate the growth and development of the telecommunications facilities and services at affordable rates.” However, there are no existing guidelines to implement the said provision of the law.
Resources / References
This could be used to frame specific questions that should be asked
<callout type=“tip” icon=“true”>This could be for hints / tips / tricks on finding information, what to look for etc.</callout> <callout type=“question” icon=“true”>A question</callout> <callout type=“success” icon=“true”>A good practice example might look like this</callout> <callout type=“danger” icon=“true”>A bad practice to be aware of might look like this</callout>