Acting Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) chief Eliseo Rio has denied rumors that the search for a new telecommunications industry player for the country has ground to a halt. However, Rio admitted that there is going to be a delay in the process, which he said is very disappointing. President Duterte originally said in December that the third telco must be operational by the first quarter of this year, and mandated the DICT and the National Telecommunications Commission to hasten the approval of the applications and permits to within seven days. However, that deadline was missed and Rio later said that the entry of the new player will now happen by the third or fourth quarter of this year. The oversight committee has identified four major requirements for the entry of a new player in the industry: the use of the frequency spectrum previously awarded to BayanTel, the establishment of a common tower policy, the commercialization of the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines-Transco Dark Fiber, and the lowering of interconnection rates.
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