Escudero made the call as the NTC prepares to carry out a speed test
this month to determine if telcos are true to their advertised
audit is necessary to determine the gravity of the problem of slow
Internet connection in the country. This will become the basis for NTC
to come up with new guidelines on acceptable speed and cost that
telcos are duty-bound to follow,” Escudero said.
The new guidelines should
effectively compel the telcos to invest in infrastructure and
technologies development so they can deliver faster data connection to
Escudero said the problem of
pathetic Internet speed and service in the Philippines could be easily
addressed if telcos are forced by law to set aside a portion of their
huge revenues for better network infrastructure.
Citing an NTC study, one of
the biggest telcos in the Philippines said $16.6 billion, or around
P750 billion, is needed to bring 2 megabits per second download speeds
to 80 percent of Philippine households by 2016.
“The telcos have been
reaping billions of pesos in profits at the expense of their
subscribers, who continue to complain about the slow and expensive
data services they provide,” Escudero pointed out.
“I think it is more than
fair and reasonable to compel telcos to spend on the necessary
infrastructure expansions and upgrades that will allow them to provide
some real service to individuals and industries that need reliable
data connections,” he said.
Escudero said the NTC, as
the agency that regulates and supervises the telecommunications
sector, should make sure that the data experience meets the
requirements and expectations of the country’s Internet users, who are
now close to 40 million.
“If we want to sustain the
growth momentum of the economy, particularly the BPO industry, we need
to have the infrastructures to deliver reliable and high-quality
Internet services,” the senator said.
In a recent Senate hearing,
NTC officials announced that the commission will begin monitoring this
September the Internet speed being provided by telcos and compare
these with their advertised speed.
According to NTC officials,
the move was part of government efforts to address the problem of slow
Internet in the country.
“Internet speed monitoring,
at best, can only be a measure against deceptive or misleading
advertising, but it would not result in faster and cheaper Internet,”
“When the NTC confirms what
millions of subscribers have been saying, what then? This is why they
need to go further and find ways to force telcos to address the
problem by building better network infrastructures,” the senator said.
The latest household
download index report by global Internet provider Ookla ranked the
Philippines 21st out of 22 countries in Asia in terms of Internet
speed, trailed only by Afghanistan. It has a household download speed
of 3.64 Megabits per second (Mbps); top-ranked Singapore has a
broadband speed of 122.43 Mbps and Hong Kong clocked in with 102.96
Even with such poor service,
the Philippines is tagged as having one of the most expensive Internet
services in the world.