SAYING that the Philippines has the slowest and most expensive Internet service in Asia, Sen. Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino 4th on Wednesday directed the National Telecommunication Commission (NTC) to submit within three months reform programs to regulate fees for Internet connection.
Aquino 4th, chairman of the Senate Committee on Trade, Commerce and Enterpreneurship, also called for a prompt review of the government’s policies on the provision of reliable Internet services, noting that the Philippines is the only member-country of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) “that has the poorest Internet service.”
NTC Commissioner Gamaliel Cordova admitted that his agency was helpless in regulating the speed and price of Internet service because “it is considered a value-added service,” which is based on the contract of the provider and the subscriber.
Aquino presided over a committee hearing attended by Gamaliel and representatives of the Science and Technology and Trade and Industry departments.
Sen. Ralph Recto called on the government to come up with a new policy that will mandate Internet service providers and telecom companies to increase the minimum speed of their Internet service to 10 megabits per second (Mbps) from the current 3.4 mbps.
Recto stressed that the Philippines has the slowest Internet speed in Southeast Asia. It is followed by Indonesia with 4.1 Mbps and Malaysia, 5.5 mbps. Singapore has the fastest Internet in the region with a speed of 61.0 Mbps.
“Unfortunately, the Philippines ranks at the tail-end of world broadband speed rankings and is also tagged as one of the most expensive,” he said.
“Filipino Internet users are paying more than their Asean counterparts with a monthly average of $24.92 or roughly, P1,120 compared to the fraction spent by other nationalities,” Recto added.