Senator wants probe into slow Internet service

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014


PHILIPPINE Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino IV called Tuesday for an investigation on the slow and expensive Internet connection in the country.

”I want to determine if consumers are indeed getting their money’s worth from Internet service being provided by telecommunication companies,” said Aquino, the chairman of the Senate committee on trade, commerce and entrepreneurship.

Aquino made his call based on reports that the Philippines is lagging behind its Southeast Asian neighbors in terms of Internet speed.

“There are constant complaints about the provider’s failure to deliver on its promised connection speed, which usually leads to slow Internet link,” Aquino said.

According to Asean DNA, the Philippines with Internet speed of 3.6 megabytes per second (Mbps) still lags behind Laos (4.0 Mbps), Indonesia (4.1 Mbps), Myanmar and Brunei (4.9 Mbps), Malaysia (5.5 Mbps), and Cambodia (5.7 Mbps).

Other countries mentioned in the report include Vietnam (13.1) and Thailand (17.7), the only two other Southeast Asian countries joining Singapore (61.0) as those above the Asean average of 12.4 MBPS.

The senator wants to determine why some neighboring countries in Southeast Asia enjoy faster Internet speed at a much cheaper price while the Philippines bears the brunt of slow connection.

Consumers shell out around P1,000 a month for Internet service with speed of up to 2 Mbps, while some telecommunication companies pay around P2,000 a month for Internet service with speed of up to 5 Mbps.

“This is expensive compared to Singapore and Thailand where we can find some of the fastest Internet connections in the world,” Aquino said.

Singtel, the largest telecommunications company in Singapore, offers 15 Mbps of Internet speed for 36.90 Singapore dollars or around P1,312 a month (P87 per Mbps).

Thailand’s True Internet provides 12 Mbps of Internet speed for about 799 baht or P1,100 (P92 per Mbps).

“Do we always have to pay a steep price for slow and sometimes unreliable Internet connection? NTC should provide a logical and clear explanation on this,” Aquino said.

The senator added the investigation should look into ways on how to improve the country’s poor Internet connection, which is crucial to the country’s economic growth.

“We have to find ways to improve the system and fast, especially with the ASEAN Economic Integration happening a year from now,” Aquino said. (PNA)

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