No room for delays in building internet infrastructure — Poe

Published June 11, 2021, 3:55 PM

by Vanne Elaine Terrazola

Senator Grace Poe on Friday, June 11, appealed to telecommunication companies, local government units, as well as homeowners associations to speed up the construction of necessary infrastructure to provide internet access, especially in areas with weak or without signals.

Senator Grace Poe (Senate of the Philippines/MANILA BULLETIN File photo)

The chairperson of the Senate public services committee reiterated her appeal as she noted the improvement of the Philippines’ global ranking in terms of internet speed.

The Ookla Speedtest Global Index report indicated that internet speed in the Philippines climbed to the 84th spot in April, 2021. Poe recalled the country ranking 122nd in the same month in 2020.

Fixed broadband speed in the Philippines also rose to 58.73 megabits per second (Mbps) in May from the 49.31 Mbps recorded in April. Meanwhile, mobile speed in May reached 31.97 Mbps compared to 29.12 Mbps in April.

“We must not cease to work double time to ensure faster and better internet service to all our people across the country,” Poe said in her statement.

“We must not slow down in our efforts to provide connectivity to all Filipino homes who rely on it to survive and thrive in the pandemic,” she added, reminding telcos of their vow to deliver services to unserved and underserved areas of the country.

There should also be “unwavering collaboration” among sectors, especially between the government and local communities, she further said.

The senator pointed out that the “Bayanihan to Recover as One” of Bayanihan 2 Act provides for faster processing of government requirements for permits and clearances to enable telcos to expedite the building of internet infrastructure, cutting down the period of approval from one year approval to seven days.

“We have proven that we can work together to build internet infrastructure in various areas of the country within a short timeframe. Nothing should hinder us anymore from achieving internet access for every Filipino, especially in remote places,” she said in Filipino.

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) previously reported that as of March, it approved 2,860 permits and clearances in 460 local governments.

In a House hearing last Tuesday, June 8, DICT Undersecretary Emmanuel Caintic said the agency will develop an internet transmission network consisting of land, air, and space transmission infrastructure, to further widen internet coverage in the country.