IS CHINA TELECOM A THREAT TO NATIONAL SECURITY OR THE ANSWER TO OUR SLOW INTERNET SPEED?




It was announced by Secretary Andanar that the Chinese Government has chosen China Telecom that will invest in the country as the Third Telco. Such entrance will potentially break the duopoly of Globe and Smart in the Telecommunication scene.

One major roadblock though, for China Telecom, is the 1987 Constitution restriction which limits foreign ownership of a company in the country to 40% controlling stake. This means, in order for them to operate legally here, they need to partner with a local company. The question is which company.


Their next hurdle is the market penetration. Don't you know that most telco broadband and telephone posts are owned by Smart communications' sister company? It means that, in order for the China Telco to penetrate the broadband market alone, they need to build their own network. To penetrate the whole telecom market, they must build their own towers. If not, they will need to partner with the 2 other networks, which defeats the purpose.

Anyhow, this is a bitter-sweet scenario. Because for all I know, Telecoms are vital infrastructure. At the same time, they are great sources of intel and they can be controlled to restrict the flow of information. Traditionally and historically, our law enforcement agencies and the military are having a hard time getting timely and vital intel from the commercial telecom company.


But now, a "potential" enemy (let's not forget the issue in the West Philippines Sea) is given access to our telecom network. That is something to think about. Is the problem on internet speed enough reason to justify the surrender of our vital infrastructure in to the hands of a potential enemy? We already did that will our National Grid Corporation where several Chinese sit as board members.

This can also affect the net neutrality in the country. A Telco associated with the Chinese Government, who exerted efforts to control what it's citizens can and cannot see on the net,  is the last company we should be dealing with. (For the meaning of net neutrality issue, please search the web)

But on the other hand, adding a third Telco player MAY improve our experiences as users. That's a big MAY. Or maybe not, Chinese Telcos are one of the slowest in the region, partly because they are fully cooperative of the Chinese Communist Party's restrictive internet policy. Now, add things up. :)




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