MANILA – A member of Congress has appealed for the rollout of additional cell towers and signal relay stations in the countryside, saying that rural communities are getting left behind in terms of access to high-speed internet connectivity badly needed to achieve greater economic productivity.
Rep. Marcelino “Nonoy” Libanan of 4Ps Party-list made the plea in separate letters addressed to PLDT Inc. president Alfredo Panlilio, Globe Telecom Inc. president Ernest Cu, and DITO Telecommunity Corp. president Ernesto Alberto.
“The current density of cell towers and/or signal relay stations in the rural areas makes it hard for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to access the internet,” Libanan told the chief executive officers of the country’s three major telecommunications companies.
“It is strongly requested that your good company immediately establish, commission and activate more cell towers in the countryside to afford our MSMEs adequate and stable access to the internet,” Libanan said in his letter, a copy of which was furnished to Gamaliel Cordoba, chief of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).
Cell towers, or cell sites, host electronic communications equipment and antennae that allow people in surrounding areas to access the internet using their wireless communication devices such as mobile phones, tablets, laptops and computers.
Libanan said a key program of the Pagtibayin at Palaguin ang Pangkabuhayang Pilipino party-list is “to support and assist the country’s MSMEs by providing them the necessary tools, technologies, skills and competencies.”
“We believe that ample access to information through stable communication facilities and services is an essential ingredient to the development of our MSMEs not only in the urban centers, but equally in the countryside,” Libanan said.
High-value information on livelihood opportunities, entrepreneurial skills development, business linkages and matchings, financing programs, innovative technologies and related resources are now accessible via the internet, Libanan pointed out.
Libanan, meanwhile, sought the NTC chief’s help “with a request that representations and monitoring be made by your good office with the concerned telecommunications service providers of their action taken on this matter.” (PNA)