The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) is looking to push through amendments to its mandate to help professionalise and modernise the agency, local press reports say. NTC Deputy Commissioner Jorge Sarmiento is leading the call to update the regulator and has urged the chairman of the committee on ICT to sponsor its reform bill. Santiago plans to review and overhaul the 1995 Public Telecommunications Policy Act to make the NTC a more ‘professional’ agency, similar to the Federal Communications Commission in the US. In an interview with with INQUIRER.net, Santiago is calling for ‘new legislation to reinforce the NTC, raise the capabilities of its officers and staff, and insulate the commission as much as possible from the whims of politics. Going forward, we are definitely counting on ICT to impel economic and employment expansion in big way. And we expect the NTC to cultivate a regulatory and policy environment that will usher in this growth.’
In a separate story, the Department of Transportation and Communication (DoTC) hopes to establish a national broadband network (NBN) to cater for national government agencies and local government units. The NBN is part of the Filipino government’s policy plan for the sector, the ‘Medium Term Philippine Development Plan (2004 to 2020)’, which is looking to establish digital infrastructure to provide public access points for delivery of e-government services. The government is also looking to adopt VoIP technology to reduce government spending on telecoms services, and to rationalise government infrastructure to increase ‘sharing and interconnection’ between agencies. The NBN infrastructure is broken down into: the network transmission backbone, a WiMAX network cluster for last-mile distribution, an IP core network, an integrated data centre, and network support and management subsystems.