LA TRINIDAD, Benguet — The Benguet Provincial Board has started discussion on the application of Zchutzengel Telecom Inc. to construct, install, operate, and maintain a broadband network in the province.

Zchutzengel Telecom Inc. is awaiting the decision of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to grant them a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) before starting operations.

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The company already has a Congressional Franchise which according to Engineer Robillo Soliven, Licensing Section Chief of the NTC-CAR, is the ultimate authority in deciding if a telecommunication company can operate.

“From the congressional franchise, roll out na ‘yan.” He explained the initial roll-out plan is to decide on the number of lines and cell sites which will be constructed for the whole nation. The 3G franchise includes with it an installation of landlines, although this installation is for certain areas only.

The NTC will then inspect and assess whether or not the telecommunications company fulfilled every requirement of the Commission.

A hearing was scheduled last Feb. 17 in the NTC main office, Quezon City but according to Soliven, the region has not yet received any update on the decision of the Commission.

Zchutzengel Telecom Inc., is based at Maligaya Building III, 430 E. Rodriguez, Jr. Avenue, Immaculate Conception 3, Cubao, Quezon City. In its four-page petition, it said it possesses the technical capability to install and support proposed service.

It argued there is a need for its service since the Philippines has a very small percentage of internet users.

Soliven said another telecommunications company in the country would foster competition, and more competition would increase chances for networks lowering their rates.

Zchutzengel Telecom is 40 percent owned by foreigners and the rest are Filipinos, like most telecommunication we have, said Soliven. (With Roxanne Castillejos)