Duterte to telcos: Shape up, increase internet speed

Published January 26, 2021, 4:59 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

President Duterte wants telecommunication companies to continue to “shape up” and make sure the country’s internet connection will be as fast as that of its Asian neighbors, Malacañang said Tuesday.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / FILE / MANILA BULLETIN)
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / FILE / MANILA BULLETIN)

The President made the pronouncement after endorsing the recommendation of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) on improving telco services, according to his Spokesman Harry Roque.

Authorities earlier suggested the establishment of more telco towers and fiber cables to enhance the services of the country’s telco companies.

“Sumang-ayon po ang ating Pangulo sa rekomendasyon ng DICT. Kinakailangan na ipagpatuloy pa rin ang shape up at talagang tutukan natin ang mga telecoms para masigurado na patuloy po ang kanilang improvement pagdating sa kanilang serbisyo (The President agreed with the recommendation of the DICT. The telecoms must continue to shape up and we will continue to monitor the telecoms to ensure sustained improvement in their services),” Roque said during a Palace press briefing.

“Dahil sang-ayon ang Presidente na dapat kapantay natin ang ating mga karatig bansa gaya ng Vietnam at Thailand pagdating sa bilis ng telekomunikasyon  (Because the President agrees that we should be at part with our neighbors like Vietnam and Thailand when it comes to telecommunication speed),” he added.

The National Telecommunications Commission earlier reported that the country’s internet speed has improved last year but continued to lag behind its regional neighbors.

Based on a  global speediest index, the Philippines  ranked 110th among 139 countries given its average mobile internet speed of 18.49 megabits per second (Mbps) as of November 2020.  Manila placed 103rd out of the 176 cities with the average broadband speed of 28.69 Mbps.

The President, in his State of the Nation Address last year, told Globe Telecom and Smart, the country’s two major telco players, to improve their services by the end of the year or face expropriation.   Duterte said the patience of Filipinos is wearing thin amid the “lousy” services of the telco companies. 

Duterte later directed local government units to address bottlenecks in the processing for tower permits after the telcos complained about alleged bureaucratic red tape.

 
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