Lawmakers voted 240-7-7 to grant a franchise to Dito Telecommunity Corp., a consortium owned by Davao City-based businessman Dennis Uy. The consortium is composed of his Udenna Corp., Chelsea Logistics, and Beijing’s state-owned China Telecommunications Corp.BusinessWorld/FileHouse grants 25-year franchise to 3rd telco player
Why is Internet in the Philippines so slow?
How Slow is the Internet in the Philippines? It’s a bunch of islands, the infrastructure to connect those islands is incredibly expensive and slow. Laying cables in the ocean is expensive and radio or satellite is very slow and still expensive.
MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly yesterday to approve on third and final reading a measure that will pave the way for a 25-year legislative franchise for a third telecommunications firm owned by a close friend of President Duterte.
Lawmakers voted 240-7-7 to grant a franchise to Dito Telecommunity Corp., a consortium owned by Davao City-based businessman Dennis Uy. The consortium is composed of his Udenna Corp., Chelsea Logistics, and Beijing’s state-owned China Telecommunications Corp.
The approved legislation will eventually be sent to the Senate for deliberation and concurrence, after which it would be delivered to Malacañang for the Chief Executive’s final approval.
Once allowed to operate, Dito is expected to break the country’s telco duopoly dominated by Smart Communications owned by tycoon Manny V. Pangilinan and Globe Telecom of the Ayala Group.
In his fifth State of the Nation Address last July 27, Duterte called on Smart and Globe to improve their communication and internet services across the country or he might be forced to “expropriate” all their assets before the year ends.
According to OOKLA’s Speedtest Global Index, the Philippines’ fixed broadband internet speed average has improved this 2020, but still very SLOW according to world Speed Averages!
The speed has increased from 18.6 Megabits per second (Mbps) last January 2019 to 26.18 Mbps this 2020, a total of 40.75% in one year. The mobile internet speed also showed a 9.92% increase from 14.61 Mbps to 16.06 Mbps in the same period.
Despite the improvement, the Philippines’ global rank for the fixed broadband internet speed moved two spots lower this year from 97 to 99, and 11 spots for the mobile rank at 111 from 100. This is not an improvement, but a failure for users of Smart or Globe!
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Donald Lim, a former ABS-CBN chief digital officer who now sits as Dito Communications Media Entertainment (Dito CME) head, said they have plans to develop and distribute entertainment, sports and education programs on various platforms.
Dito CME is the publicly listed holding company of Dito Telecommunity. Dito Telecommunity is owned by Udenna (35 percent), Chelsea Logistics (25 percent), and China Telecom (40 percent). Both Udenna and Chelsea Logistics are owned by Uy.
Lim said they will “invest in and partner with creative organizations and thought leaders to develop and distribute entertainment, sports and educational programs for various platforms.”
“The need for people to connect, to be informed and entertained, to engage in trade, regardless of circumstance, has become a primary basic need,” he said at the firm’s annual stockholders’ meeting in late July.
“We have begun to tune in to all forms of media platforms as our coping mechanism to get information and entertainment anywhere and everywhere,” Lim said.
Lim also clarified the relationship between third telco Dito Telecommunity and Dito CME.
“Dito CME will own indirect interest in Dito Telecommunity once the necessary governmental approvals are obtained and the appropriate transfer documents are executed; however, the holder of the government franchise is Dito Telecommunity,” Lim said.