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Freeman Cebu Business

Slow Internet access hurting businesses

The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - In today’s digital age, 74 percent of 15 to 19 year olds identify Internet cafés as their main point of access to the world wide web, but Internet café operators and other businesses in Cebu are at times operating at a loss due to slow internet access.

Philippine Internet is the second slowest in Asia with an average of 2.5mbit/s and the most expensive in the world with an average rate pegged at P1,995 per month. 

Richard Tumulak, owner of the Technoplay Internet Café, told The Freeman yesterday that, “the connection is so slow, the customers most especially the students are really affected but they are left with no choice because other Internet cafes likewise have slow connection.”

Tumulak added that he even tried another broadband service of another telecom firm but the same thing happened.

Meanwhile, Voyager Internet Café technical supervisor Arnold Baquero said, “people nowadays are very dependent on the internet that is why we are using Fiber instead of broadband for better connection.”

But despite that, Baquero said even with Fiber, there are still times that the connection slows down and so does their profit.

Aside from Internet cafes, hotels and money transfer businesses are also feeling the pinch of the slow internet connection most especially during peak season.

Diovelene Curioso, front desk clerk of Hotel de Mercedes said, “guests would often complain because of the slow WiFi.”

She also added that “it makes our job time-consuming most especially that people nowadays would often book their rooms through online.”

Palawan Pawnshop clerk Mayls Florida Inion for her part said,“some customers get rejected when claiming their money because the code used for claiming needs an approval and it cannot be done without the Internet, so we used other alternatives like using a “Plug-it WiFi” device.

Students, bloggers too

Not only the businesses in Cebu are affected, also the ordinary and typical people are suffering from this problem.

Jessa Mae Sotto, a student, said “I use pocket wifi for easy access to internet wherever I go but it still fails me because the connection is really slow.”

Chleiv Garcia, an aspirant DJ said that he is using broadband for downloading music during daytime and it would take him more than half a day to download the whole album, which is why he downloads music at midnight, when Internet traffic seems less and connection is a bit faster.

The same thing goes with blogger Krizia Ablaza who said “I only use mobile data in some areas; I find it hard to upload photos on my blog posts, because the internet connection is so slow. It usually improves at midnight.”

Philippines as the Social Media Capital of the World is one proof that Filipinos are dependent to the Internet with over 7.9 million Filipinos using the Internet, 6.9 million of them visit a social networking site at least once a month according to web tracking site Alexa.

Overseas

While slow Internet connection has now become a perennial problem in the Philippines, Roel Corpuz , a Filipino engineer in Qatar said, “Internet here is very cheap and there are lots of promotions like you can get 30GB data for only P1,200 and balance can be carried out in the next billing.”

Myrose Paderog, an OFW in the United States said, “there’s WiFi in the city, anyone can use it. It is fast and very useful especially when renting a cab.” (FREEMAN)

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