Rural telcos to see fast-tracked energisation

02 May 2024

The move by National Electrification Administration (NEA) to fast-track energization of rural telco facilities will help PLDT and Smart Communications roll out mobile services in those areas faster.

The NEA’s publication of Memorandum Order No. 2024-18 provides guidelines streamlining the energization process for telecoms towers in areas covered by electric cooperatives. The order essentially cuts the processing time down to 30 days.

Cellular network rollouts in the Philippines have long been slowed down by local bureaucratic processes involving things like rights of way, site access, permits and – in this case – connecting towers to the local power grid.

"PLDT and Smart are proud to have worked alongside NEA, the Anti-Red Tape Authority

, other mobile network operators, independent tower companies, and other government and private sector stakeholders in crafting these guidelines, helping pave the way for the faster rollout of telco infrastructure across the nation and ultimately boosting the government's country-wide digitalization thrust," said Pamela B. Felizarta, head of joint strategic operations at Smart.

PLDT has also worked with ARTA to support telco workshops that further address the bottlenecks in the permitting, licensing, and authorizing process to improve connectivity, particularly in remote areas.