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DOST Seeks to Improve PH Internet Connectivity

by: Sarah Joson

Thursday, May 8, 2014 |

According to data gathered by Ookla, an Internet broadband testing company, out of 190 countries they surveyed, the Philippines ranked 160th, a dismal position in terms of download speed. In addition to that, they found that the country is on the receiving end of the most expensive service among 64 nations in the median price range with $26.60 per Mbps.

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) stated that one of the solutions that could help improve the cost of Internet broadband services is to introduce more competition. During a briefing, DOST-Information and Communications Technology Office Deputy Executive Director Monchito Ibrahim said the telecom industry, which is dominated by two providers - PLDT Group and Globe Telecom - needs more players.

He noted that the smaller telecom companies underestimated the growth of the sector. Another issue that is found to affect the slow progress of the telecom provider space is the painstaking process to register for a franchise and the restrictions to foreign ownership. The law has imposed a restriction on foreign ownership for public utilities such as land and other key industries to 40 percent.

Ibrahim stated that the country would need to come up with provisions that will make it easier for foreign telco companies to operate franchises in the country. While others believe that the government is all there is to blame for the slow internet connection speed, Ibrahim explained that the industry’s progress has long been in the influences of the private sector from the time of its deregulation back in 1995.

One of the contributors to the economy’s growth is the business process outsourcing sector (BPO), but they are not affected by the snail-paced connectivity because they are able to purchase enterprise internet packages that offer larger bandwidth.


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