The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) may have to set highly aggressive targets as to where it wants to take the Philippines in terms of Internet connection speed by the end of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte’s term in 2022, Makati City Rep. Luis Campos Jr. said Sunday, Aug. 6.
“Adopting rising connection speed targets in the years ahead, and a having a well-defined strategy to achieve those marks, would give more meaning to the President’s wish to quickly advance the country?s overall Internet connectivity,” Campos said in a press statement.
“The DICT could, for instance, aim for an average Internet connection speed that is at least 10 times faster than what we now have,” the lawmaker added. “Otherwise, we might be left behind if we simply allow Internet service providers to take their own sweet time in improving our sluggish connection.”
Shortly after he was elected President, Duterte had vowed to boost connectivity, and threatened to bring in foreigner players to help upgrade Internet services and make them more affordable. “You will improve the service, or I will open up the Philippines. All can come in,” Duterte declared at a press briefing in Davao City.
The Internet connection in the Philippines has been slow to pick up compared to other countries in Asia Pacific, Campos lamented. He said a year ago, India and the Philippines were tied in having the slowest average connection speed in Asia Pacific at 3.5 Mbps.
“However, India has since swiftly raised its average connection speed to 6.5 Mbps, while the Philippines now has the slowest at 5.5 Mbps,” he pointed out.
Campos has filed House Bill 5337, which seeks to classify Internet service as a”basic service” within the regulatory jurisdiction of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), which is under the DICT. At present, Internet service in the country is regarded as a “value-added service” beyond the NTC’s authority.