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Senate urged to pass bill boosting internet competition

By: Alden M. Monzon – @inquirerdotnet
Philippine Daily Inquirer / 02:26 AM January 20, 2023


The Joint Foreign Chambers of the Philippines (JFC) on Thursday called on lawmakers in the Senate to begin deliberations on a piece of legislation that is meant to improve internet quality and prices, one of the key reforms that the private sector has been pushing under the Marcos administration.

The JFC, a coalition of foreign business groups, said the upper chamber should pass an open access in data transmission law, after a counterpart bill was filed at the House of Representatives before it went to recess back in December of 2022

This refers to House Bill No. 6, or the Access in Data Transmission, which was also submitted to the upper chamber, even as several bills on open access remain pending with the Senate Science and Technology Committee chaired by Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano.

“With the enactment of the bill, the market is unlocked and a competitive environment is developed that would benefit the public at large,” the JFC said in its position paper sent to the Senate committee.

“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,” the coalition added.

The JFC said further that its enactment will significantly improve data transmission services throughout the country, citing this would mean faster internet speed and lower internet costs.

The coalition further highlighted its significance in establishing what it calls a “forward-looking and future-ready digital policy framework” for the Philippines.