DICT: More telcos eye building common towers

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The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) said more telecommunication firms have shown interest in building common towers in the country.

DICT said it has so far received letters of intent from 13 firms asking to register as independent tower companies (ITC). The agency pushed the construction of shared or common towers for the rollout of better internet service in the country.

To help ease their registration and assist them address their permitting requirements, DICT has launched an online portal to facilitate the digital application and registration of interested ITCs. The online portal can be accessed at https://commontower.gov.ph/.

The Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD), for its part, has recently updated its guidelines for the documentary requirements of information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructures such as common towers to further ease the construction of more towers,

Under its Department Order No. 2020-009, DHSUD has committed to allow telecommunications companies and ITCs to streamline the acquisition of consent from homeowner’s associations, building owners, and concerned tenants to build ICT facilities.

Instead of acquiring consent, the guidelines said companies may submit written certifications executed under oath that states there is no other available or suitable site within the coverage area and that the location is best fit for connectivity purposes.

“The company should likewise submit an undertaking that promises the conduct of social preparation among the affected homeowners,” the order reads.

Further supporting these initiatives, the Senate has voiced its plan to suspend the tower permit requirements for telcos for three years as part of the “Bayanihan to Recover as One Act,” also known as Bayanihan 2.

Last July, DICT, DHSUD, the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA), and other government agencies signed a Joint Memorandum Circular to streamline the processing of permits, licenses, and other requirements for the speedy construction of common towers.

DICT said the proposals seek to suspend certain tower permits, except the building permit.

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