The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) ordered cable provider Sky Cable to cease operations of its direct broadcast satellite services following the expiry of its legislative franchise on May 4.
In an order dated June 30, the NTC directed the corporation to refund all of its subscribers, which covers advance payments, equipment and devices, and charges from new applicants.
Sky Cable has 10 days to file an answer as to why its direct broadcast satellite in 251 cities or municipalities along with it frequencies should not be recalled.
According to the order, the commission issued Sky Cable a Provisional Authority (PA) on December 23, 2015, which would last until June 23, 2017. On July 25, 2018, the NTC extended that PA from June 23, 2017 up to but not beyond June 23, 2021. However, this extension would be subject to the applicable terms and conditions from the previous PA, and must comply with the NTC’s existing rules and regulations.
The order said the legislative franchise granted to Sky Cable expire on May 4, 2020.
The NTC quoted Republic Act No. 3846, which states that “no person, firm, company, association, or corporation shall construct, install, establish, or operate a radio transmitting station, or a radio receiving station used for commercial purposes, or a radio broadcasting station, without having first obtained a franchise therefor from the Congress of the Philippines.”
Sky Cable is a subsidiary of ABS-CBN Corporation, which is also facing franchise woes in Congress and went off the air on May 5 following the expiry of it’s franchise.