NTC to discuss anti-monopoly
policy with telcos, IT industry
Telecommunications Commission (NTC) is scheduled to hold a
public forum on a proposed competition policy that would cover
the convergence of the telecommunications and information and
communications technology industry, INQ7.net learned on Tuesday.
Hosted by the University of the Philippines School of Economics
in Diliman, Quezon City, the forum will be held March 15, 2006.
It will focus on the 32-page consultative document the agency
posted on its website (www.ntc.gov.ph).
Hoping to take a more proactive stance, the NTC said that the
consultative document attempts to propose four major policies
that would promote more competition while keeping incumbent
Apart from outdated regulations, the new competition policy aims
to address the entry of more technological innovations -- such
as voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) -- in the country.
NTC Chairman Ronald Solis said the Philippine Long Distance
Telephone Co., Digitel, and Globe are expected to join the
forum. The academe and other sectors representing the local ICT
industry have also been invited.
The current regulatory environment is giving unfair advantage to
dominant players who have engaged in "unchecked behaviors" like
predatory pricing, vertical prize squeezes, and other unfair
market practices that have killed or silenced competitors,
according to the draft competition policy of the NTC.
NTC, however, posed questions to explain its proposed
competition policies. The agency, for instance, asked whether or
not it should encourage more competition or strike a balance of
power in an industry that has become cutthroat.
One interesting policy posed by NTC is the unbundling of the
so-called “last mile" or "network elements." The agency said
that this proposal was first made in 2000.
As telephone companies have become engaged in the same business
as Internet service providers, dominant carriers now have
control over the last mile and have, in most instances, favored
affiliates than independent Internet service providers, the NTC
The agency said that unbundling or opening access to carriers'
networks is relevant at this time with the emergence of VoIP
that now allows value added service (VAS) providers to offer
Meanwhile, the NTC also proposed to impose stricter policies on
dominant players versus non-dominant players. The agency said
such regulatory practice is now accepted in countries like
Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and the European Union