Competitiveness drop blamed on slow internet
Delon Porcalla (The Philippine Star) - May 29, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — An opposition member of the House of Representatives has blamed the Philippines’ steep drop in economic competitiveness to the country’s slow internet connectivity. 

“There’s no question our overall economic efficiency has been weighed down by inadequate yet costly internet connectivity,” Rep. Luis Campos Jr. said, noting the country’s nine-notch drop to the 50th spot in the latest World Competitiveness Yearbook rankings.

The ranking was conducted by the International Institute for Management Development.

“If our average internet connection speed is slower compared to other countries, and yet we have to pay a higher price for it, then that makes our economy somewhat less competitive,” Campos said.

The Philippines’ 5.5 Mbps average internet connection speed is the slowest among 15 Asia Pacific countries, according to Akamai Technologies Inc.’s State of the Internet Connectivity report.

Worldwide, South Korea has the fastest average connection speed at 28.6 Mbps, while Paraguay has the slowest at 1.4 Mbps.

Mbps is short for megabits per second – a measure of network transmission or data transfer speed. A megabit is equal to one million bits.

According to Campos, “poor connectivity adversely affects businesses, consumers and government agencies that have become increasingly reliant on the internet to perform daily transactions.”

Campos is counting on the entry of new players in the telecommunication to “drive real competition in the supply of faster internet connection speeds at lower prices.”

Malacañang has hinted that President Duterte is likely to declare the liberalization of the telecommunications sector and announce the entry of new players when he delivers his third State of the Nation Address on July 23.

Campos has been batting for the reclassification of internet access as a “basic telecommunications service” so that regulators may compel suppliers to provide rising connection speeds under pain of stiff punitive fines.

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