VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Telstra NOT the country’s third internet service provider

An old online post falsely claiming telecommunications company Telstra Corp. (Telstra) will provide internet services in the country is currently making the rounds on the Web.

Netizens are currently re-sharing the inaccurate post, which was published on Oct. 27, 2015 by Facebook page Tee Radio. It features a 2015 WhenInManila.com photo of Five E-Com Building in Pasay City that bears a large Telstra signboard on its facade, and a screengrab of a netizen’s Oct. 23, 2015 Facebook status.

In the screengrab, the netizen claimed telco giants Globe Telecom and PLDT Inc. had then launched “faster and cheaper” internet promos because the Australian company was coming “pretty soon.”

Telstra is not providing the Philippines internet services anytime soon.

It was in talks for a joint telecommunications venture with San Miguel Corporation in 2015, but the prospective partnership fell through in March 2016 because the two were “unable to come to commercial arrangements” to proceed with the venture.

The company that won the bid in May to enter as the third major player in the country’s telco industry was Mislatel Consortium, composed of China Telecommunications Corp., businessman Dennis Uy’s Udenna Corp. and Chelsea Logistics Holdings Corp.

Telstra, in a May 2018 Business World report, said it “has no plans to enter the mobile telecom market” in the Philippines.

The false, three-year-old item resurfaced around the time President Rodrigo Duterte awarded Mislatel its certificate of public convenience and necessity on July 8, officially giving the consortium its permit to operate.

The untrue post has been shared over 85,000 times, and has received more than 74,000 reactions and 10,000 comments. Traffic from social media to the false post largely came from the pages Realtalk: and People of Maharlika.

Tee Radio was created on Feb. 14, 2011.

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Founded in March 2008, VERA Files is published by veteran Filipino journalists taking a deeper look into current Philippine issues. Vera is Latin for “true.”

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