City Dad appeals NTC: Work on telco system issue
May B. Miasco/ATO (The Freeman) - September 23, 2015 - 10:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The Cebu City Council is appealing to the National Telecommunications Commission to strategize schemes to improve the telecommunication infrastructure in the city given the problem on the continuous poor transmission system.

In his nine-minute privilege speech, City Councilor Nestor Archival Sr. raised concern to the growing number of subscribers the crisis on the interrupted system with the hope that changes may be pursued.

“It is high time that the NTC, the body mandated to promulgate policies for telecommunication, to address and effect changes to the telecommunication systems. The NTC should find a way to harmonize our infrastructure investment against the millions of subscribers in order to solve the problem,” he said.

During yesterday’s regular session, the local legislative body moved to carry the declaration of Archival, who chairs the council’s committee on energy, transportation, communication and other utilities.

The council, likewise, requested the national legislature to fast track the approval of measures that intend to upgrade and rehabilitate the country’s telecommunication infrastructure.  With the request, the council hopes to get the support of Representatives Raul del Mar and Rodrigo Abellanosa to convey Archival’s public statement to Congress.

But on the local scale, the council called on the attention of telecommunication firms such as the Smart Communications, Globe Telecom and Sun Cellular to reevaluate the volume of their subscribers.  The body noted that it is reasonable for the firms’ number of subscribers to complement the capacity of their respective infrastructure in order not to compromise the networks’ services. 

While the country is focused on development plans, Archival said, experiencing severe occurrences of drop calls and slow internet connection only indicates that the present communication system is not harmonized to innovation.

Archival believes two features are needed to have a reliable telecommunication and internet connection, one is having a unified local internet exchange point and the other is a backbone provider.

“However it is interesting to note that despite the significant number of subscribers, the country doesn’t have a real backbone provider because what we have is an old data routing technique provided by the PLDT which routes data to Hong Kong Internet Exchange (HKIX) rather than routing it locally to our PHOpenIX,” he said.

The country has the Philippine Open Internet Exchange operated by the Department of Science and Technology – Advanced Science and Technology Institute that allows the exchanges of Internet traffic among service providers.

“The data that would originate and terminate here in the country will be routed first to Hong Kong before returning back to the Philippines, hampering other internet service providers to do traffic exchange with PLDT DSL customers,” said Archival.

“With millions of subscribers and with unstable backbone, we have a clear picture why we experience severe internet interruptions and this could probably explain severe drop calls which are putting the subscribers at a disadvantage because we are being asked to pay for the suppose service which we cannot even use,” he added.

Considering the circumstance, Archival reported that the Philippines has one of the slowest average broadband speeds, not just in Asia, but across the globe, based on the recent survey of “Ookla Speedtest.”

The May 2015 survey, ranking consumer download speeds around the world, showed that the Philippines ranked 176 out of the 202 countries evaluated.

“In terms of upload speed, the Philippines ranked even lower on the index with an average upload speed of 1.53 Megabit per second (Mbps.) This was significantly lower than the global average of 10.59 Mbps.” Archival said.

“Moreover, the Philippines’ household download speed was 3.64 Mbps, the second lowest among Asian countries in the index. The survey also noted that the cost per Mbps in the Philippines was also one of the most expensive with an average value of US dollars 18.18 (more or less P855,)” he added. — (FREEMAN)

ACIRC ADVANCED SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY INSTITUTE ARCHIVAL CEBU CITY COUNCIL CITY COUNCILOR NESTOR ARCHIVAL SR. DEPARTMENT OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY GLOBE TELECOM AND SUN CELLULAR HONG KONG HONG KONG INTERNET EXCHANGE INTERNET MAR AND RODRIGO ABELLANOSA
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