Freeman Cebu Business

Improved internet speed seen to boost Cebu’s world ranking

Ehda M. Dagooc - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - IT industry stakeholders are looking forward to an improvement in Cebu’s ranking as an outsourcing destination in the world banking on the government’s thrust to improve the speed and connection reliability in the country.

Wilfredo Sa-a managing director of  Cebu Educational Development Foundation for Information Technology (Cedf-IT) expressed confidence that outsourcing investments, specifically in Cebu, will double or triple in the short term, if the issue on infrastructure (internet speed, including cost) will be given clear resolution.

According to Sa-a the announcement of President Rodrigo Duterte to make prompt actions on connection problems in the Philippines, directing Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to develop a "National Broadband Plan" to accelerate the deployment of fiber optics cables and wireless technologies to improve internet speed, is a good boost for Cebu.

With this, Sa-a said Cebu can easily climb a step or more notches higher from its current rank seven as outsourcing destination in the world by Tholons.

"Addressing the country's issue on internet reliability and speed is seen to lift Cebu's standing as a prominent outsourcing destination in the world," said Sa-a.

 The DICT is envisioned to support the development of the ICT systems of the country. Telecom man and lawyer Rodolfo Salalima was appointed by President Duterte to head the new department.

  In his recent State of the Nation Address (SONA) Duterte vowed that WiFi access shall be provided at no charge in selected public places including parks, plazas, public libraries, schools, government hospitals, train stations, airports and seaports.

 Aside from the expected lift of prominence in the outsourcing investment community, Sa-a said the improvement of internet connection, including competitive rates is also seen to help startups to flourish with their small, yet marketable innovations.

 Meanwhile, despite some issues of infrastructure and other concerns, Cebu managed to rise up a notch higher to number seven in this year's Tholons' Top 100  IT/BPO investment destinations in the world.

Tholons, a global full-services strategic and advisory firm for world's outsourcing and research, put Cebu in the 7th place, after being stuck in number 8 ranking in the last three years.

Tholons remains bullish on the trajectory and long-term potential of Cebu City as a global services outsourcing destination.

 "There is opportunity for Cebu City to capitalize on the prevailing weakness of global competition. Economic turmoil in several of Latin America’s key economic markets for example, has temporarily dulled the region’s luster, pushing large service buyers/providers to re-focus activities on proven locations which can provide both scale and better long-term sustainability," the report said.

  Today, Cebu City’s local IT-BPM industry is a healthy mix of services, cutting across all three major service lines (ITO, KPO, BPO).  The variety of process groups being fulfilled in the city also mirror the diverse talent pool available to the location (i.e. software development, FAO, medical transcription, and contact support services, among others).

Large multinationals such as JPMorgan Chase, Aegis, Accenture, Teletech, IBM and Convergys, among many others, have all established delivery centers across Cebu City’s numerous IT Parks and Centers. (FREEMAN)

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