THE Philippines now ranks 15 worldwide in absolute number of internet users, with some 54 million Filipinos browsing the web, or a penetration rate of 52 percent of the population.
There’s no question a growing number of Filipinos are relying increasingly on the internet not only for communication, information, education and entertainment, but also to earn a living by selling goods and services, to shop and to perform financial transactions--from banking to paying bills.
This is why Congress has to be highly responsive in classifying internet service as a basic telecommunications service. This way, regulators can actually do their job, and assure every Filipino greater access to superior Internet services, including accelerating connection speeds.
The top five countries with the highest number of internet users are China, 731.4 million; India, 462.1 million; the United States, 286.9 million; Brazil, 139.1 million; and Indonesia, 132.7 million, according to Internet World Stats (IWS).
Those ranked just below the Philippines are Italy, with 51.8 million users; Vietnam, 49.7 million; Turkey, 46.1 million; South Korea, 45.3 million; and Thailand, 41 million.
The figures were based on data from the International Telecommunication Union--the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies, country reports and Facebook Inc., and updated as of March 31, 2017.--Rep. Luis N. Campos Jr. of Makati City