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Open access unlocks market

By Malaya Business Insight |January 20, 2023


The Joint Foreign Chambers (JFC) yesterday reiterated its call for the immediate passage of the Open Access in Data Transmission Act.

In a statement, the JFC called on the Senate to commence deliberation on the bill upon resumption of session next week. The House of Representatives approved its version, House Bill 6, on third reading before going into the December recess. The bill was transmitted to the Senate for deliberation.

In a position paper sent to the Senate Science and Technology Committee, the JFC said the Open Access bill seeks to address the need for fast, reliable and affordable internet or data service.

“With the enactment of the bill, the market is unlocked and a competitive environment is developed that would benefit the public at large. It lowers regulatory barriers and costs of entry for market players offering internet service, and promotes fair and open competition at different segments of the data transmission network. This will significantly improve data transmission services (faster internet speed and lower internet costs) throughout the country,” JFC said.

According to the JFC, the proposed Open Access in Data Transmission Act is critical to establishing a forward-looking and future-ready digital policy framework for the Philippines. The bill aims to create the space that will allow and empower as many different service providers as possible to build and operate data networks and give more choices to broadband users anywhere in the country, especially in the countryside.

Other Senate bills filed on Open Access are also pending with the Senate Science and Technology Committee chaired by Sen. Allan Peter Cayetano.

This is the third time the House has approved the bill on third reading after approvals in both the 17th and 18th Congresses. The bill failed to get Senate approval in both Congresses.

The members of the JFC expressed optimism that since the bill was approved early in the 19th Congress, the Senate will have enough time to deliberate and approve the measure. – Irma Isip