MANILA -- A third telecommunications player will likely bring connectivity to remote areas, a Cabinet official overseeing the search for the challenger to Globe Telecom and PLDT Inc said Thursday.
Some 40 percent of the country is either unserved or underserved by the 2 telecommunications giants, Department of Information and Communications Technology officer-in-charge Eliseo Rio said.
"Ang tendency ng bagong telco ay pupunta doon dahil doon wala silang kakumpetensya," Rio said.
(The tendency of the new telco is to go where there is no competition.)
"Once na magtayo ka ng infrastructure dyan, lalago rin ang ekonomiya sa lugar na 'yan. Yung mga tao dyan ay magkakaroon ng hanapbuhay dahil sa telekominikasyon," he added.
(Once the infrastructure is in place, the economy in those areas will grow. People there will have jobs because there is telecom service.)
The government will provide assistance in building towers and other infrastructure such as roads, to help telcos set up in remote areas, he said.
Eight bidders, 3 of them foreign, have bought the bidding documents to vie for the third telco post, Rio said in a Senate hearing last Oct. 22.
A "provisional" third telco may be named by Nov. 7, Rio said, barring any court order regarding NOW Telecom's case against the National Telecommunications Commission.