On Monday, the Senate approved the third and final reading regarding the bill that will grant Smart Communications another 25 years operating franchise before its near expiration.
The bill specified that the wholly-owned subsidiary of PLDT Inc. should extend its network to calamity-prone areas, where the presence of telecom services can help in times of disaster, and to the locations that remain isolated from any carrier services.
Senator Grace Poe, who sponsored the bill, said that the bill also introduces important amendments that would better protect the interest of telecommunications users.
The first amendment is the deletion of the term “co-use” in the application of the franchise so that “this seemingly innocuous word cannot be invoked in employing anti-competition practices.” It was approved with 15 affirmative votes, and two negative votes by Senators Risa Hontiveros and Panfilo Lacson.
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.”
Given that extension, Smart should continue to improve its network services for the sake of its customers.
Source: GMA News