Globe urges government to expedite cell site deployments

29 Jan 2019

The Philippines' Globe Telecom has urged the government to implement regulatory reforms to enable the deployment of more cell sites for the 5G era.

The operator has called on the government to implement rules and regulations based on the nation's Ease of Doing Business Law that would expedite the time taken to secure approval to construct a new cell site.

The company estimates that due to the current lengthy permitting process, it takes an average of eight months and 25 permits before it can build a single site.

Globe CTO Gil Genio has called on the government to find a way to amend or overriding local government powers over cell sites to significantly expedite this process.

“The analogy I keep talking about is in the US, many years ago, this debate between Federal and local level has been dissolved by having regulatory rules that allow for a mechanism so that telcos are not unnecessarily impeded in cell site [building]. If a local government in the US denies a site, it has to do so in writing,” he said.

The solution the US Federal Communications Commission implemented was a “shot clock” system requiring local governments to normally take no more than 90 days to act on wireless deployment applications, Genio said.

This move will be critical to ensuring 5G cell sites are rolled out quickly enough in local government areas, and local governments in the nation are now moving to fast track the deployment of such sites, even to the extent of sponsoring new deployments.

Globe has called for the Local Government Code be amended to expedite the issuance of all local permits for telecoms facilities. The operator is also working with government agencies to have cell site permits incorporated into the National Building Code to ensure they are standardized in terms of requirements.

The government is already making moves to expedite mobile cell site deployments with its initiative to grant permitting and other support to common tower providers.

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