Bam Aquino: Probe slow, expensive Internet
Senator Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV on Tuesday called for an investigation into the slow and expensive Internet service in the country.
Aquino made the move after getting reports that the Philippines is lagging behind its Southeast Asian neighbors in terms of providing faster Internet connection.
A Senate investigation, he said, would also 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.
Aquino noted that while other Asian countries enjoy cheaper but faster connection to the Web, the Filipino consumers have to bear the brunt of slow connection.
“There are constant complaints about the providers’ failure to deliver on its promised connection speed, which usually leads to slow Internet link,” Aquino said.
Based on a data from the ASEAN, the Philippines lags behind Laos by 3.6 megabytes per second (mbps). Laos enjoys a 4.0 Mbps, Indonesia 4.1 Mbps, Myanmar and Brunei 4.9 Mbps, Malaysia 5.5 Mbps and Cambodia 5.7 Mbps.
On the average, Filipino consumers shell out at least P1,000 a month for Internet service with speeds up to only 2 Mbps while some companies are offering up to 5 Mbps for around P2,000 per month.
“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, for its part, provides 12 Mbps of connection 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 (National Telecommunications Commission) should provide a logical and clear explanation on this,” Aquino said.