1-PACMAN Rep. Eric Pineda has asked the telecommunication companies and National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to work hand in hand to improve the mobile signal and Internet services in the country.
In his privilege speech, Pineda cited a report from the Internet metrics-provided Ookla in 2015, showing that the Philippines has the second slowest Internet download speed among 22 countries in Asia.
Pineda said The Philippines is clocking at only 3.64 Mbps, which is oceans apart from Singapore’s 122.43 Mbps; Hong Kong’s 102.96 Mbps; Japan’s 82.12 Mbps, and South Korea’s 59.77 Mbps.
“Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia, supposedly our equals in the ASEAN, all outrank us. Even countries like Mongolia, Nepal, Bhutan, Laos and Pakistan fare better. Only Afghanistan, a country torn by decades of war, is worse,” Pineda said.
Pineda emphasized that Filipinos are paying a very high cost for slow Internet speed to which this made the Philippines unable to sustain its accolade of being the “texting capital of the world and selfie hotspot.”
He lamented that not only the roads are clogged with cars but even the information highway is congested too.
“As any cellphone user would swear on a stack of Bibles, calls are cut, texts are truncated, signals are spotty, and it takes hours to download an episode of your favorite telenovela,” he added.
Many lawmakers agreed with Pineda that Internet services should be improved as this is also a gauge for economic growth.
“Foregone opportunities range from students kept in the digital dark to businesses burdened by high broadband costs. For ordinary folks, the forfeited benefits are obvious, from dropped calls they have to pay, to cellphone loads that disappear,” Pineda said.
Pineda also scored the inability of the NTC to make meaningful initiatives in addressing the problem, having been able to come up only with a regulation penalizing the duopoly which rakes in P104M a day in revenues, P200 fine for failing to meet the 256kbps standard it has set for minimum fixed line Internet speed.
He likewise noted that the minimum speed set by NTC is way below the standard Internet speed in other countries.