Filipino Court of Appeals throws out NOW Telecom’s NTC case

Filipino Court of Appeals throws out NOW Telecom’s NTC case

A legal case brought against the Philippines’ National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) by operator NOW Telecom has been dismissed by the country’s Court of Appeals.

The case relates to NOW Telecom’s application for provisional authority to operate a mobile service via a specific range of spectrum frequencies. The operator argued that it had the right to use these ‘concomitant frequencies’ due to a resolution issued by the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA).

The resolution in question is Republic Act 11032, commonly referred to as the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act. It was issued in 2018 by ARTA, and in theory granted routine approval for NOW Telecom’s request for provisional authority to provide mobile services in the 1970MHz-1980MHz, 2160MHz-2170MHz, and 3.6GHz-3.8GHz bands.

TeleGeography reports that NOW Telecom applied for this approval in June 2022, but the Court ruled that at this time ARTA’s resolution had not been finalised, noting that an appeal to the Office of the President remains open. Through its legal action, NOW was aiming to force the NTC to comply with ARTA’s resolution; however, the Court argued that NOW had failed by prove its rights to the frequencies in question and had instead raised questions over their legal ownership.

NOW had also filed a suit accusing the NTC of negligence for failing to assign the frequencies; however, the Court judged that the regulator holds “discretion in implementing the law’s policies and objectives” under the National Telecommunications Act.

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