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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Globe pushes for zero lease on telco infra in developments, cites Asia-Pacific trends

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Globe reiterates its push to remove lease fees for telco infrastructure in local property developments, citing the successful implementation of similar policies across countries in the Asia-Pacific such as Australia, Singapore, and Hong Kong.

The move aims to reduce operational costs for telecom companies, fostering a more competitive market and ultimately benefiting consumers with improved connectivity and services.

Australia’s approach requires property developers to organize and meet the costs of pit and pipe infrastructure, ensuring that services are ready when people move into new premises. This responsibility aligns with developers’ obligation to provide essential utilities for enhanced liveability.

Likewise, Singapore’s Code of Practice for Info-communication Facilities in Buildings (COPIF) mandates building owners and developers to provide space and access for telecom licensees, ensuring adequate telecom infrastructure without imposing additional costs.

Singapore’s policy ensures that both residential and commercial developments benefit from robust telecom services, contributing to the nation’s digital economy.

In Hong Kong, regulations also require building owners to provide telecom installation space and access, emphasizing mutual benefits for buildings and their tenants from shared mobile coverage. Such policies have significantly contributed to creating a resilient mobile telecom network across the city, supporting the growing demand for mobile services.

“The experiences of Australia, Singapore, and Hong Kong demonstrate that zero lease practices for telco infrastructure can lead to more efficient market operations and better consumer services. It will be an advantage for the Philippines to adopt similar policies, paving the way for enhanced digital connectivity and competitiveness in the region,” said Ernest Cu, Globe President and CEO.

Currently, real property developers and owners of buildings such as malls, office spaces, hotels and condos, charge telcos for installing in-building telco infrastructure to provide necessary connectivity within their own premises.

Globe believes such fees are unnecessary and that telco facilities must be treated the same as water and power, for which developers already provide necessary space without charging lease to service providers.

It supports the revision of the National Building Code to classify telcos’ in-building solutions (IBS) as necessary infrastructure for developments.

House Bill No. 900, filed by Tarlac 2nd District Rep. Christian Tell Yap, proposes an additional section that would classify “telecommunications facilities such as in-building solutions and fiber optic cabling for high capacity and high-speed requirements” as mandatory for “multi-dwelling buildings, commercial buildings, government and office buildings, public and private schools, and government and private hospitals.”

Meanwhile, House Bill No. 8534, filed by Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda, explicitly bars building owners and developers from imposing “any cost, expenses, charges or rent… for the provisioning of telecommunications services” in their respective properties.

Both bills are pending at the House Committee level.

Globe is committed to working with government stakeholders and the private sector to explore the implementation of zero-lease practices for telco infrastructure in the country. By aligning with practices proven successful in other Asia-Pacific countries, the Philippines can accelerate the expansion of its telecom infrastructure, benefiting businesses and consumers alike with improved access to digital services.

To learn more about Globe, visit https://www.globe.com.ph/.

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