Bill seeks faster internet connection in the Philippines
Called National Broadband Development Act, the proposed measure aims to provide a more efficient information and communication technology (ICT) and broadband services nationwide, particularly on the unserved and underserved areas.
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Bill seeks faster internet connection in the Philippines
Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) - September 8, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — A party-list lawmaker has pushed for legislation that would improve internet speed and connectivity in the country.

1-Pacman Rep. Mikee Romero recently filed House Bill 185 that seeks to create and establish a comprehensive broadband control and management framework.

Called National Broadband Development Act, the proposed measure aims to provide a more efficient information and communication technology (ICT) and broadband services nationwide, particularly on the unserved and underserved areas.

HB 185 intends to install necessary infrastructure to improve internet speed in the Philippines, which is one of the slowest in the world.

The latest Speedtest Global Index study showed that in terms of mobile internet speed, the Philippines ranks 103rd among 139 surveyed countries.

The country’s average mobile internet download speed of 15.06 megabits per second was far below the global average of 26.12 Mbps.

This is even slower than the 15.2 Mbps registered in Zimbabwe and war-torn Syria’s 19.48 Mbps.

The study showed that Norway has the fastest mobile internet with a speed of 67.54 Mbps, followed by Canada, Qatar, the Netherlands and South Korea.

In terms of fixed-line internet, the Philippines was also among the slowest as it ranked 101st among 179 countries.

Its average speed of 19.51 Mbps was much slower than the global average of 57.91 Mbps.

HB 185 seeks to address this problem through the creation of an integrated and automated policy environment that will promote a broad market-led development of the ICT-enabled services.

It also intends to promote the use of modern ICT base mechanisms and technologies for the enhancement of key public services and promotion of the country’s election procedures.

 “The state recognizes that it is imperative to prioritize and provide the suitable tools and means to make way for the needed infrastructure to interconnect government agencies and consolidate numerous agency data centers that can provide services such as cloud computing web hosting and server colocation,” Romero said in his explanatory note.

Under the bill, the government will expand and establish ICT infrastructure to foster the continuity of ICT-broadband based services to aid and support the government’s economic objectives.

The proponent hopes “to ensure universal access to quality services, promote the development and widespread use of emerging new ICT technologies, and to ensure the availability and accessibility of services in all areas.”  

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