Lawmakers support bill investigating slow Internet connection in PH

By , on December 27, 2014

EKS / ShutterStock
EKS / ShutterStock

Lawmakers have expressed their support for House Resolution 1658, filed by Las Piñas Rep. Mark Villar, which will probe the slow Internet connections the Philippines, which has been a dilemma for users since the onset of the expansion in the information technology (IT) sector.

Villar referenced a report from a large US-based provider, Akamai, which said that the Internet connection in the Philippines has an average speed of only 2.1 megabytes per second (Mbps), making it one of the slowest in Asia.

“The data from another Internet metric firm Ookia show that the Philippines has a general average speed of only 3.55 Mbps,” Villar said.

“There is a need to address this alarming and poor state of Internet service in the country as it impacts on consumer welfare, productivity, right to information, and ultimately on our economy,” Villar stressed.

He noted that the Philippines, even assuming the faster  connection speed of only 3.6 megabytes per second, is still the slowest among its southeast Asian neighbours; with Laos at 4.0 Mbps, Indonesia at 4.1 Mbps, Myanmar and Brunei at 4.9 Mbps, Malaysia at 5.5 Mbps, Cambodia at 5.7 Mbps, Vietnam at 13.1Mbps, Thailand at 17.7 Mbps, and Singapore at 61.Mbps.

House members, who have expressed their annoyance at the failure of local telecommunications firms to deal with the problem, despite the huge profit margins of such companies, have given their full support to The House Committee on Information and Communications Technology to begin its probe into the matter.

“There is an urgent need to enhance effective competition in the telecommunications industry in order to promote the state policy of providing the environment for the emergence of communications structures suitable to the balanced flow of information.Statistics show that more than 30 percent of Filipinos are Internet users. This is a clear indication of the importance of the Internet to the day-to-day activities of Filipinos,” Villar said.

Villar also pointed out that the “country’s competitiveness in the global market” is at a major disadvantage, due to the poor Internet service.