Globe calls on real property developers to support connectivity push, remove lease fees for in-building telco facilities

Globe has called on real property developers to support its push for inclusive connectivity and remove lease fees on in-building telco facilities, giving connectivity services equal footing with basic utilities such as water and electricity.

Ernest Cu, Globe President and CEO, cited how essential connectivity is in daily life, with extensive use in business, education and leisure. Yet unregulated installation costs in buildings and establishments have become burdensome for service providers.

“When a developer starts building, they practically beg for power and water. Meanwhile, for us, we want to connect them but they say “pay first.” They actually put all the power facilities in the building to allow their tenants to connect. They don’t charge the water company for every faucet. Yet they want to charge us for every antenna we need to install,” said Cu at Globe’s R.I.S.E. 3.0 event, which gathered government partners and stakeholders for a united push for digital inclusion.

He shared how one developer wanted to charge a 300% increase in lease rates for telco facilities just as the pandemic was easing, apparently to cut losses.

Globe has been working with building owners and developers to push for its to remove lease fees for in-building solutions, recently scoring a win with a top hotel in Pasay City.

Following successful negotiations, the hotel agreed to remove charges for IBS and retained only its charges for outdoor connectivity facilities, cutting lease charges by 96.18%.

Cu commended building owners and developers that understand the importance of connectivity and include necessary facilities right from the planning stage of developments.

“It’s very refreshing to see visionaries like Vic (Consunji), who understands how important connectivity is and makes it available from the get-go. Why wait for people to apply for connectivity once they move in if they’re gonna do it anyway?”

For Consunji, having built-in connectivity in his developments just makes sense.

“The irony here is that we want to raise awareness about connectivity so that we can take it for granted. Everything that is important, we take it for granted. We don’t worry about how we get water, power, how roads are built. Everything that is important, we actually want to take for granted. We want to raise awareness to a point that we can forget about it,” said Consuji, President and CEO of the Victor Consunji Development Corp.

Buds Wenceslao, CEO of D.M. Wenceslao and Associates Inc., likened connectivity to being part of the canvas of a builder’s artwork, such as a township or commercial development.

“As real estate developers, we view our product creation as akin to painting a masterpiece, with connectivity and digital infrastructure serving as essential components of the canvas. Telco connectivity is not a luxury but a utility integral to our development plans,” said Wenceslao.

For Cu, it’s all about stakeholders working together to provide inclusive connectivity.

“Let’s all work together to provide equitable connectivity across the country. The telcos cannot do it alone. We are very large facilities but we have over a hundred million people to connect. The government is doing its share, alleviating requirements and permits and giving incentives. We need members of the private sector who are very much interested in furthering the connectivity agenda. It’s only by working together that we can come up to speed with other countries out there that are truly digital,” he said.