Senate extends Smart franchise by another 25 years
The Senate has just approved a bill that extends the Smart Communications franchise by another 25 years. Along with it, the company is also strongly urged to further widen its coverage and reach distant places that usually don’t have a reliable signal. This is in case calamity strikes and network services are of utmost importance to reach out for help.
GMA News Online reports that the bill grants Smart a franchise to “establish, install, maintain, lease and operate integrated telecommunications/computer/electronic services, and stations throughout the country for public, domestic and international telecommunications.”
The measure was backed by Senator Grace Poe who said that the extension basically protects the interest of telecom users with the first amendment dropping the term ‘co-use’ so as to avoid being “invoked in employing anti-competition practices.”
Also, an amendment was made by Senator Gatchalian to introduce Mobile Number Portability (MNP) to the bill. Smart is to set up a mechanism for the MNP and barred from installing features that’ll hamper nationwide implementation. The National Telecommunications Commission shall then issue rules and regulations.
So far, there are a number of provinces that already receive stable connections and even fast LTE speeds. Although, we’re still hearing reports of areas with a more challenging signal reception. Hopefully, these will all be addressed in the coming years.
Updated to include MNP measures.