PH fixed broadband internet speed surges in February

Published March 2, 2021, 7:40 PM

by Edgard Hilario

The country’s fixed broadband average download speed for February 2021, as reported by Ookla Speedtest Global Index, registered its highest jump since the beginning of the Duterte administration.    

The 5.73 notch up from 32.73Mbps last month to 38.46Mbps in February 2021 represents a monthly increase of 17.51% and a 386.22% increase from the country’s download speed of 7.91Mbps back in July 2016.    

Mobile network overall performance also improved as the country yielded an average download speed of 26.24Mbps, showing an increase of 252.68% from its speed of 7.44Mbps back in July 2016.     

The improvement in the country’s internet speed comes after the President’s directive last July 2020 on the need to expedite the facilitation of LGU permits in relation to building cellular towers. Since then, there has been a significant increase in the issuance of permits from July 2020 to January 2021. 

The fast-tracking of the issuance of permits resulted in an increase in building cellular towers. From July 2020 to January 2021, a total of 3,211 additional towers/physical sites were built.     

The country has a total of 23,106 cellular tower/sites to date with Globe having 10,596, Smart and DITO having 10,150 and 2,360 respectively.     

Telcos also continue to invest heavily on their fiber optic network with a total of 320,748 cable-kilometers already laid out all over the country to date.  Smart/PLDT currently has the widest network with 178,061 cable-kilometers of fiber optic built. Globe has laid-out 69,249 cable-kilometers, Converge with 58,319 and DITO with 15,119.     

The NTC and DICT has been conducting strategic meetings with Globe, Smart, DITO and Converge to identify problem areas in telcos’ infrastructure roll-out. Immediately addressing issues raised help ensure telcos’ plans for expansion and improvement in 2021 are completed in time.      

The meetings are essential in closely monitoring telcos’ progress in helping the country improve its internet speed resulting to better global rankings in Ookla’s Speedtest Global Index.  

Telcos’ performance are being closely monitored after President Duterte agreed that improvements in telco services need to be maintained and the country’s internet speed be eventually at par with the country’s Southeast Asian neighbors.