News of the Villar conglomerate’s plans to enter the country’s ISP scene isn’t new.
Early last February, major publications reported the family’s groundwork in the House of Representatives, as Manuel Paolo Villar, son of the businessman and ex-senator Manuel “Manny” Villar Jr., filed for a congressional franchise to “to construct, install, establish, operate and maintain telecommunications systems throughout the Philippines.”
A recent Inquirer interview with the Villar scion, who is the principal shareholder of the prospective telco company Streamtech Systems Technologies Inc. (SSTI), revealed that the initial strategy was to build on the Villar group’s residential communities’ infrastructure and provide the residents with “last mile” broadband services. The family owns Vista Land and Lifescapes Inc., both of which have a nationwide presence.
Paolo, also the CEO of Vista Land, emphasized the priority to provide Internet services to their housing communities, which has now expanded to 100 cities and municipalities across 37 provinces in the country. “We’ve been planning it for a while, our buyers want good Internet service,” Villar said.
He added that at the start, SSTI can only provide the “last mile” Internet links, and initially only to their communities. They would still have to rely on the network backbone of the major telco players such as PLDT and Globe for the major linkages.
Villar remarked: “If the national government creates a backbone that is accessible by third-party players, that will be a game changer.” “If there is a backbone that is competitive, you will see the price of Internet go down a lot,” he concluded.