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PH internet speed still lowest in ASEAN

A lawmaker was disappointed over the slow internet speed in the country which ranked No. 110 among 139 countries as of November this year.

Makati City Rep. Luis Campos Jr. said the Philippines’ average Internet connection speed remains very sluggish and is way behind those of its peers in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Citing figures from The Speedtest Global Index, Campos said the Philippines’ mobile Internet speed averages only 18.49 megabits per second (Mbps).

The United Arab Emirates ranks No. 1 with 170.30 Mbps, while Afghanistan is No. 139 with 6.31 Mbps.

In fixed broadband, the Philippines ranks No. 103 with an average speed of only 28.69 Mbps.

Singapore ranks No. 1 with 241.10 Mbps, while Turkmenistan is at the tail end with 3.47 Mbps.

The Speedtest Global Index analyzes web access performance metrics around the world based on millions of tests taken by real people using the Internet.

“We clearly still have one of the slowest Internet speeds in the world and in Asia,” Campos lamented.

“Among the 10 member countries of the ASEAN, for instance, our average mobile Internet speed is ranked the second-slowest,” he added.

In fact, Campos said, the 18.49 Mbps represents just 60 percent of the 30.94 Mbps average mobile Internet speed across all ASEAN members.

“We are more concerned about mobile Internet speed because an overwhelming majority of Filipinos now access the web through their smartphones via their cellular telephone service provider,” Campos said.

President Rodrigo Duterte threatened in July to expropriate the assets of private telecommunications firms if they failed to improve their Internet services by yearend.

Campos cited the need for Congress to empower the National Telecommunications (NTC) so that it can set compulsory deadlines for industry players to deliver faster Internet speeds.

“Filipinos deserve faster Internet speeds, which have been associated with higher economic productivity, stronger jobs creation and greater quality of life,” Campos said.

“We want the NTC to set faster Internet speed targets every year, and then penalize the service providers that fail to deliver,” Campos said.

As proposed by Campos in House Bill 7479, telecommunications firms that fail to reach the mandatory Internet speed targets will be slapped with a fine of P1 million per day, or P365 million per year, until they achieve compliance.