MozillaPH Asks Sen. Binay Not to Sit on Open Access in Data Transmission Bill

Published September 6, 2021, 9:06 AM

by Robert D. Reyes

Letter to Sen. Nancy Binay Open Access in Data Transmission Bill

Mozilla Philippines (MozillaPH), the local arm of the global non-profit behind the open source web browser Firefox, chides Senator Nancy Binay after writing the lawmaker a letter for the passing of the Open Access in Data Transmission Bill.

In a blog post published by the Filipino tech community Sunday on their website, MozillaPH said that they sent a letter to Senator Binay last 30 July 2021 asking for legislative proceedings related to the bill to move forward in the Senate. Despite a follow-up email, not even an acknowledgment was received by the group from the lawmaker.

At present, there is no Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Committee in the Philippine Senate, unlike in the lower house. All bills related to ICT are either handled by the Science and Technology Committee (headed by Sen. Binay), or at times, under the Public Services Committee of Senator Grace Poe.

The Open Access in Data Transmission Bill, once passed into law, aims at liberalizing the ICT industry by lowering the barriers to market entry, fast-track and lower the cost of deploying broadband facilities, promote infrastructure sharing, and introduce more fair and transparent spectrum management. This will effectively promote open competition among all the industry players.

Last 28 July 2021, the Philippine Congress voted to pass the consolidated version of House Bill 8910 (An Act Promoting Open Access in Data Transmission and Providing Additional Power to the National Telecommunications Commission).

Interconnection among data transmission players is mandated under HB 8910. By doing so, it will prevent a single company or a group of data providers to be the single dominant player. HB 8910 mandates interconnection among data transmission participants, thus, will prevent dominance by a single player or by a group of data providers.

Let us all hope (and pray) that the Philippine Senate will pass their version of the Open Access in Data Transmission Bill the soonest.