Lower House passes new bill providing open access to data transmission – Manila bulletin

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The legislative proposal providing for an open access approach in the data transmission sector took a step forward towards enactment after its approval at third and final reading in the House of Representatives.

All the members of the Chamber present during the ordinary session of Wednesday July 28 voted in favor of the adoption of Bill 8910 entitled “Law promoting free access in the transmission of data and conferring additional powers on the National Commission telecommunications ”. HB 8910 consolidated several legislative proposals tabled by representatives Francis Gerald Abaya (1st district, Cavite); Joy Myra S. Tambunting (2nd district, town of Parañaque); and Victor A. Yap (2nd arrondissement, Tarlac), among other promoters.

Described by its authors as historic legislation, the bill proposes to establish a strong and independent regulatory system to ensure and strengthen fair competition in the data transmission industry.

By providing for an open access approach in the regulation of data transmission services, the legislative proposal aims to ensure a rapid and efficient registration process and the promotion of open competition between all players.

HB 8910 makes interconnection between data transmission participants mandatory, thus preventing domination by a single actor or by a group of data providers.

Under the bill, the National Telecommunications Commission is responsible for maximizing the use of red sources of radio spectrum in the allocation and allocation of finite sources in data transmission by ensuring that the spectrum is put available to all registered players in the data transmission industry.

The NTC is empowered to impose a fine of 300,000 to 5 million pesos for each day of violation of the provisions of the measure.

HB 8910 imposes penalties for prohibited acts which include refusal to plug in and play by any participant in the data industry and a paid priority which prohibits participants from committing to a paid priority, except where this is authorized by the NTC.

The strangulation that is committed when a data transmission industry fails or refuses to treat all traffic equally will be penalized under the bill.

A participant in the data transmission industry is prohibited from interfering with or slowing down any services or applications or access to specific sites on the Internet, except under certain conditions.

The bill prohibits any participant in the data transmission industry from refusing or not making available to data service providers on a timely basis technical information about its essential facilities.

A similar bill was passed by the Lower House during the 17th Congress, but the Senate Public Services Committee, then chaired by Senator Grace Poe, was unable to pass the measure.


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