Persistent issues of poor quality and high prices of telecommunications services in thePhilippines have been attributed to a weak regulatory environment and to a large extent, the lack of real competition among players in the sector. This was caused by the recent mergers and acquisitions that were consummated sans the review and approval of a duly established competition authority. Such “re-concentration” has effectively allowed the incumbent and large players to strengthen their market share especially under the background of an industry structure characterized by vertical integration or the ownership and operation in all segments of the telecommunications value chain.
Presently, efforts are already underway in order to intensify competition in Philippine telecommunications such as the government’s National Broadband Network and the possible entry of a third major player. On the legislative front, various measures that seek to enhance competition in telecommunications continue to be deliberated in the 17th Congress. However, none of these can have a more profound impact in the sector than the “Open Access in Data Transmission Act”.
The paper delves on the concept of open access and its applications. It also discusses separation, including different country cases, as a means to address possible abuse of dominance brought about by vertical integration. The paper likewise provides recommendations that aim to enhance and strengthen current legislative proposals on open access.>>read complete document