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NTC paints rosier picture of internet connectivity in Philippines at House hearing
This undated photo shows the façade of the National Telecommunications Commission headquarters in Quezon City.
The STAR/File

NTC paints rosier picture of internet connectivity in Philippines at House hearing

Xave Gregorio (Philstar.com) - November 5, 2020 - 5:34pm

MANILA, Philippines — The National Telecommunications Commission painted a much rosier picture of internet connectivity in the country at a House hearing on Thursday on the issue, saying that download speeds increased by as much as 229.7% since 2016.

NTC Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba presented data from the Ookla Speedtest Global Index showing that download speeds on fixed broadband increased from 7.91 megabytes per second (mbps) in July 2016 to 26.08 mbps September of this year.

Citing the same data, Cordoba said download speeds on mobile connections increased from 7.44 mbps in July 2016 to 16.89 mbps in September 2020, representing a 127.06% increase.

What Cordoba failed to mention, however, is that the Philippines significantly lags behind the global average.

According to the same speedtest index, the global average of download speeds on fixed broadband connections is 85.73 mbps, while the global average of download speeds on mobile connections is 35.96 mbps.

This means that the Philippines is behind the global average in terms of fixed broadband connections by 59.65 mbps, while it lags behind by 19.07 mbps from the global average of mobile connections.

The Philippines also ranks eighth out of nine Southeast Asian countries in the speedtest index in terms of mobile connections, besting only Indonesia. Meanwhile, it ranked fifth among nine Southeast Asian countries in terms of fixed broadband connections.

The rosier picture painted by Cordoba did not escape Rep. Stella Quimbo (Marikina) who grilled him over the metrics that they use to gauge internet speed and affordability.

“Let’s reassess our performance indicators. You are the regulator of telcos so if you’re watching the wrong thing, we have a big problem there,” Quimbo said in Filipino.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES NATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
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