Installation of broadband links should be lease-free, says CitizenWatch PH

12:33 AM April 15, 2024

Like free access to electricity and water lines, the installation of broadband connectivity should not bear additional costs to internet providers, according to CitizenWatch Philippines, emphasizing its role in the digital age.

Tim Abejo, co-convenor of CitizenWatch, explained that broadband link is now an essential productivity and communications tool that should be made accessible to all citizens and therefore must have an adequate space allocation in both private and public property construction.


“Having internet connection in every workplace, commercial and residential areas should now be a standard amenity, the same way that adequate utility easements are provided for electricity and water services,” Abejo said.

This developed as the same citizen advocacy group urged Congress to prioritize the amendments to the National Building Code to include the telecommunications and broadband network links to be installed with the same treatment as water and electricity facilities, which are already integrated early on in the design stage free of lease payments.


According to figures from the Department of Information and Communications Technology for 2023, 65 percent of the Philippines’ population is still without internet access. Data from the Statista Research Department showed that 77.81 percent of the Filipino population will only have an internet connection by 2028 in its current phase.

The average broadband internet speed in the Philippines is currently ranked 41st in the world, according to the Telecom Review. This is allegedly still a big problem because the speed is frequently inconsistent and merely limited.

Currently, 767 buildings across the country have accepted the zero-lease initiative, with Makati City having the highest number at 105, Taguig with 91, and Quezon City with 57 under Globe Telecommunications.

Areas in North and South Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, on the other hand, have yet to pick up the pace with the zero-lease for buildings to help with providing better internet access.

Meanwhile, a measure in the House of Representatives proposing to alter the NBC, HB 8500, has been adopted. The law intends to include revisions related to ICT but does not include the removal of leasing payments for cell towers.

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