DICT urges continued pressure on telcos to do better; Roque’s telco briefing suffers from internet interruption

Published January 21, 2021, 2:48 PM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

President Duterte is being urged by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to continue exerting pressure on telecommunication companies (telcos) following reports that the internet speed in the country has actually increased.

Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) (MANILA BULLETIN)

DICT Undersecretary Emmanuel Rey Caintic made the recommendation after a report by Ookla, a global leader in mobile and broadband intelligence, revealed that the country’s mobile download speed improved by 202.41 percent from July 2016 to December 2020, while the country’s fixed broadband speed increased by 297.47 percent during the same time period.

During Thursday’s Malacañang press briefing, Caintic said President Duterte should intensify his push for better telco services in the country.

“Our recommendation [to President Duterte] is to continue that firm stance and push for the telcos,” he said.

“Tuloy-tuloy ang push. Tuloy-tuloy ang pressure ni President (The President should continue in pushing and pressuring them). Do not relent on the strength. More, more strength,” he added.

However, he noted that the government should also do its part to help telcos improve their services.

“We should even intensify the push but at the same time, we should do our best in government, also, to alleviate yung problema doon sa mga permit (the problems regarding the permits),” Caintic said.

Data from Ookla showed that the country’s fixed broadband speed improved by 297.47 percent from 7.91 Mbps in July 2016 to 31.44 Mbps in December 2020. Meanwhile, the mobile download speed improved by 202.41 percent from 7.44 Mbps to 22.50 Mbps during the same period.

Technical issues

It was as if fate was playing jokes with them.

During the said press briefing in Malacañang, Presidential spokesman Harry Roque was left to talk to himself after he lost connection with Caintic, CNN Philippines reporter Trish Terada, and Communications Undersecretary Rocky Ignacio who serves as the moderator.

The connection was lost for at least 2 minutes and 10 seconds.

When they were reconnected, Roque asked Caintic what should happen so the same kind of interruption will not happen again. The latter responded that more telco towers are needed.

Since the lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic started on March 15, 2020, Malacañang has resorted to virtual press briefings to prevent the spread of the disease.