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Netizens seek cheaper, faster Internet connection

Janvic Mateo - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - More than 4,400 netizens have signed as of yesterday an online petition asking the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), telecommunication firms (telcos) and Congress to provide “cheaper, faster, more accessible and reliable” Internet connection.

“We want the telcos to provide at least 80 percent of their prepaid, postpaid and business subscribers, the guaranteed minimum speed as stated in the purchased package at the cheapest possible rate,” read the Change.org petition started by information technology enthusiast Cocoy Dayao.

“We want greater transparency from the telco industry and the government with respect to Internet usage. Broadband service providers shall have a minimum service reliability of 80 percent,” it added.

The petition noted a more competitive Internet speed and accessibility would spur economic growth through various enterprises, particularly online-based businesses. It also called for more industry players to avoid monopoly.

Dayao said having faster and cheaper Internet connection would give users their hard-earned money’s worth, adding, “productivity suffers without fast, reliable and accessible Internet.”

He added the World Bank has noted that investment in broadband would boost the country’s gross domestic product, and that citizens could not take advantage of e-services offered by the government with terrible Internet service.

“Entertainment apps – locally streamed videos, and music are waiting to explode, and legitimate subscription/ownership surely can help curb piracy as well as create new revenue avenues for artists, studios, telcos,” Dayao said.

A Quezon City councilor earlier filed a resolution calling on the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and the NTC to investigate reports that the Philippines has one of the slowest Internet connections in the region.

Citing information from ASEAN DNA that recently circulated on social media sites, fifth district councilor Karl Castelo said the average speed of Internet in the Philippines is only at 3.6 mbps, way below the average 12.4 mbps.

He said Internet speed in the Philippines lagged behind its Southeast Asian counterparts, which is topped by Singapore at 61 mbps.

The list is followed by Thailand with 17.7 mbps, Vietnam with 13.1 mbps, Cambodia 5.7 mbps, Malaysia .5 mbps, Myanmar and Brunei .9 mbps, Indonesia 4.1 mbps, and Laos 4 mbps.

“Internet connection in the Philippines cost around P1,000 ($22) a month... with speed of up to 2 mbps while connection with speed of up to 5 mbps cost around P2,000 a month,” Castelo said.

A QUEZON CITY COCOY DAYAO DAYAO DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND COMMUNICATIONS INTERNET KARL CASTELO MBPS MYANMAR AND BRUNEI NATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION SOUTHEAST ASIAN
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