News Analysis Telecoms

Cartel warning

Philippines telecom-duopoly players, PLDT and Globe, have been put on notice: fix the country’s Internet or make way for foreign competition.

The ultimatum was made by President Rodrigo Duterte at a recent press briefing in his home city of Davao. “You improve the service or I will open the Philippines. All can come in,” he said, observing that Philippine telco service would remain poor and costs high as long as the sector is controlled by a cartel.

Promising to make Internet connectivity public policy, Duterte said that faster and affordable Internet will play a significant role in accelerating the economy’s development – especially outside the capital, Metro Manila.

PLDT and Globe are likely to take the President’s words very seriously. Following a dispute with the two companies in 2012 when he was Vice Mayor of Davao City, he threatened to ban them from operating in the city or stop protecting their cellular phone towers against rebel attacks.

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