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PT&T eyes Transco asset for telco plan

Philippine Telegraph and Telephone Corp. (PT&T), one of the companies vying to become the country’s so-called third telco player, is moving to close a final deal to use the fiberoptic assets owned by state-run National Transmission Corp. (Transco).

PT&T disclosed to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Thursday that it signed a memorandum of understanding with Transco. This would allow Transco to review PT&T’s feasibility study on its unused fiber assets.

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Transco’s fiber assets, which span around 6,000 kilometers around the country, would help a new telco player close the infrastructure gap against incumbents PLDT Inc. and Globe Telecom, which control their own nationwide fiberoptic backbones.

The study would still need to be validated by Transco, after which a final agreement will be signed.

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For PT&T, a definitive agreement with Transco would allow it to move faster in implementing its goal of becoming a major telco player in the country, whether or not it wins a govern.

“The MOU puts us one critical step closer to having a national fiberoptic backbone,” PT&T chief operating officer Miguel Bitanga said on Thursday.

Eliseo Rio Jr., acting secretary of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DOTr), the government agency overseeing the selection of a new telco player, said the so-called dark or unused fiber of Transco together with concessionaire National Grid Corporation of the Philippines would be part of the terms of reference for the upcoming auction.

Rio said a third telco player would “definitely” be named before the State-of-the-Nation Address of President Duterte in July.

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TAGS: fiberoptic, National Transmission Corp. (Transco), Philippine Stock Exchange, Philippine Telegraph and Telephone Corp. (PT&T), third telco player
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