PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte on Thursday signed an executive order (EO) liberalizing access to satellite technology after accusing telecommunication companies of failing to improve their service.

EO 127 expands internet services through inclusive access to satellite services. It amends EO 467, which required telecommunication companies to get a congressional franchise before using  satellite facilities.

The order allows telecommunication entities, value-added service providers  and internet service providers authorized by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to have direct access to all satellite systems, whether fixed or mobile, international or domestic.

“Broadcast service providers may also be allowed to directly access satellite systems subject to NTC rules, regulations and authorizations,” according to the order.

The regulator must update its rules  and fast-track the process to allow value-added service providers and internet companies to “directly access, utilize, own and operate facilities for internet access service using satellite technologies such as, but not limited to, very small aperture terminals, broadband global area network and other similar technologies, for all segments of the broadband network.”

Mr. Duterte also ordered the Department of Information and Communications Technology to pursue policies to get orbital slots for Philippine satellites.

Mr. Duterte in July last year told telecommunication companies to improve their service by December or risk being shut down. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza