Senator seeks 1 GB of free data for the poor


REUTERS

The poor should get at least a gigabyte of free data per month, a senator said on Monday as she pushed for passage of a bill to reduce internet tariffs in disadvantaged areas.

“Low-income end-users need more than just the occasional mobile promotion, with internet access becoming a necessity along with water and electricity,” said Senator Imelda “Imee” R. Marcos, who heads the Senate Economic Affairs Committee, in a press release. .

“Work-from-home arrangements, online education, e-commerce and online banking are here to stay,” she added.

She pushed for the passage of Senate Bill 2102 or the Living Rate for Internet Services, which will change the Philippine Public Telecommunications Policy Act.

“We always fully support initiatives that will enable us to provide telecommunications services to the general public, as we know that given the rapid evolution and heavy reliance on technology in our time, access to The Internet is the key to economic development and poverty reduction, ”said Aileen D. Regio, senior vice president and chief regulatory and strategic officer of PLDT, Inc. in a message on her cell phone.

“We actually have current plans that meet precisely this need,” she added, even as she cited the obstacles to their deployment in different parts of the country.

The socialized pricing mechanism provided for in the bill aims to address the slow expansion of free Wi-Fi access in poor areas and may already be put in place by government and telecommunications companies, Ms. Marcos said.

The measure is awaiting a senatorial committee.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., a subsidiary of the PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund, has a controlling interest in Business world through the Philippine Star Group, which he controls. – Alyssa Nicole O. Tan

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