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Telecom firm Dito gets Poe challenge

SENATOR Grace Poe challenged Dito Telecommunity Corp. to show goodwill and commitment by providing service to unserved and underserved areas.

“By strategically fulfilling its commitment to meet the said number of barangays mostly in the NCR area where it’s the easiest way to go about it, Dito is literally giving us the bare minimum of what it committed to do,” explained Poe.

The chairperson of the Senate public services committee earlier enumerated the commitments Dito made to the government that will serve as a basis of its franchise renewal which will expire in 2023. These include their ability to provide service to 37 percent of the population with a minimum speed of 27 mbps by January 2021.

“Dito will actually do a test run and said they were able to cover thousands of barangays, so we would actually want to go to one of those barangays and see if there’s been a marked improvement in their connection,” said Poe.

“We can always see the numbers, but unless you’re actually the end user and experience how it performs, you can’t really vouch for it,” Poe said.

Upon getting its franchise in 2018, Dito submitted a form that includes a list of 7,425 barangays it has committed to serve in its first year of application. At the last Senate hearing, Poe questioned Dito for rolling out services mainly in the NCR instead of barangays in unserved and underserved areas.

“We are very excited for a third telco to come in, but we are here to safeguard the commitments it made to the government for the benefit of our people,” said Poe.

Senators earlier fought for the national broadband budget to be increased from P900 million to P5.9 billion in order to cover more areas that lack access to reliable internet. With this amount, DICT has committed to provide a national broadband backbone for areas like the NCR, Cebu, Davao, and even Palawan and Aurora.