Atienza to telcos: Help pay for P200B national broadband project

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Buhay Rep. Lito Atienza on Sunday called on telecommunication companies to help pay for President Rodrigo Duterte’s national broadband network project that seeks to improve public access to high-speed Internet services in areas with inadequate connectivity.

“The President, who can be very forceful, should consider simply telling telecommunications service providers to put up a counterpart fund that will help pay for the project, and they might just readily comply without complaining,” Atienza said.

“After all, these telecommunications companies have been raking in billions of pesos in profits every year from the use of our airwaves that are wholly owned by the State,” the House deputy minority leader added.

He added: “Besides, why should government alone shoulder the full cost of a project that is meant to extend a service that these telecommunications firms should be providing, to begin with?”

Atienza said the President’s already record-high public approval rating “might just go through the roof” once he directs telecommunications companies to help subsidize the network that would supply high-speed Internet services to underserved areas.