Globe pushes for zero lease on telco tech

  • Top Philippines telco wants to align with Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong 
  • Classifying telecom facilities as essential infrastructure could reduce operational costs and foster competition
  • Pending legislation could force property developers to include telecom infrastructure in their buildings and end related lease charges

In an effort to expand and accelerate the availability of digital network infrastructure in the Philippines, telco giant Globe is advocating for the adoption of zero-lease rules on telco infrastructure in property developments, a move inspired by the successful implementation of similar policies across countries in the Asia Pacific region, such as Australia, Singapore, and Hong Kong.

In those countries, property developers are required to provide space and access for telecom infrastructure without imposing additional lease fees on service providers. For instance, Australia mandates developers to organise and meet the costs of pit and pipe infrastructure, ensuring that services are ready when people move into new premises. Similarly, Singapore’s  Code of Practice for Info-communication Facilities in Buildings (COPIF) ensures adequate telecom infrastructure is provided in both residential and commercial developments.

“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,” stated Ernest Cu, Globe president and CEO in a statement published by the Manila Standard. “It will be an advantage for the Philippines to adopt similar policies, paving the way for enhanced digital connectivity and competitiveness in the region.”

Currently, real property developers and owners of buildings in the Philippines charge telecom operators for installing in-building telecom infrastructure to provide necessary connectivity within their premises. Globe believes that such fees are unnecessary and that telecom facilities should be treated the same as essential utilities like water and power.

Cu highlighted that in-building telecom infrastructure, such as fibre cables and antennas, place a burden on internet service providers. “When a developer starts building, they practically beg for power and water. Meanwhile, for us, we want to connect them but they say ‘pay first’,” he said. “They actually put all the power facilities in the building to allow their tenants to connect. They don’t charge the water company for every faucet. Yet they want to charge us for every antenna we need to install.”

To address this issue, Globe supports the revision of the National Building Code to classify telecom’s in-building solutions (IBS) as mandatory infrastructure for various types of developments. The proposed legislation includes measures to mandate telecom infrastructure in buildings and bar lease charges for telecommunications services.

“We need members of the private sector who are very much interested in furthering the connectivity agenda. It’s only by working together that we can come up to speed with other countries out there that are truly digital,” explained Cu.

- Joana Bagano, Contributing Editor, TelecomTV

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