PLDT/Smart says energization fast-track will speed up rural rollouts

PLDT/Smart says energization fast-track will speed up rural rollouts

Philippine telco PLDT and its wireless arm Smart Communications said on Monday that the move by National Electrification Administration (NEA) to fast-track energization of rural telco facilities will help them roll out mobile services in those areas faster.

The comments follow the NEA’s publication of Memorandum Order No. 2024-18, which provides guidelines streamlining the energization process for telecoms towers in areas covered by electric cooperatives. The order essentially cuts the processing time down to 30 days.

Cellular network rollouts in the Philippines have long been slowed down by local bureaucratic processes involving things like rights of way, site access, permits and – in this case – connecting towers to the local power grid.

Pamela B. Felizarta, head of joint strategic operations at Smart, said the new NEA memo will help speed up infrastructure rollouts across the Philippines.

"PLDT and Smart are proud to have worked alongside NEA, the Anti-Red Tape Authority [ARTA], other mobile network operators, independent tower companies, and other government and private sector stakeholders in crafting these guidelines, helping pave the way for the faster rollout of telco infrastructure across the nation and ultimately boosting the government's country-wide digitalization thrust," Felizarta said.

PLDT said it has also worked with ARTA to support telco workshops that further address the bottlenecks in the permitting, licensing, and authorizing process to improve connectivity, particularly in remote areas.

In July 2023 President Ferdinand Marcos Jr signed Executive Order No. 32  (s. 2023), which streamlined the permitting process for the construction, installation, repair, operation and maintenance of telecoms and Internet infrastructure in the Philippines.

The government has also moved to streamline the process even further by helping more local government units digitalize and streamline their bureaucratic processes through its E-Local Government Unit (eLGU) programme.


Sign-up to our weekly newsletter

Keep up-to-date with all the latest news, articles, event and product updates posted on Developing Telecoms.
Subscribe to our FREE weekly email newsletters for the latest telecom info in developing and emerging markets globally.
Sending occasional e-mail from 3rd parties about industry white papers, online and live events relevant to subscribers helps us fund this website and free weekly newsletter. We never sell your personal data. Click here to view our privacy policy.