Honasan: Internet in the Philippines ‘not that bad’

Secretary Gringo Honasan of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) said the speed of speed in the Philippines is “is not that bad.”

Honasan said during a budget hearing Tuesday in Congress, the average connection speed in the country that ranges from three to seven per second (Mbps) is not as bad as the public says compared with neighboring countries.

“Right now, without going into figures, we are not doing too badly. But this is so hard to explain to the public,” Honasan told members of the House appropriations committee. “Of course, compared to other countries, they can reach up to 55 Mbps while ours is still between 3 and 7 Mbps. But this is not that bad.”

DICT Assistant Secretary Emmanuel Caintic also said the connection speed, especially in broadband services, already improved in the past years.

Caintic said the fixed broadband speed in 2016 was 7.91 Mbps and increased to 25.07 Mbps this year. For the mobile connection, the average internet speed is currently at 6.95.

“We already improved a lot. But this is no cause for celebration because our neighbors hit 213.18 Mbps in fixed broadband and 56.43 Mbps in mobile,” he said.

Honasan: Internet in the Philippines’ not that bad’

Caintic said the connection in the Philippines was due to a lack of telecommunications infrastructure, noting other countries’ fixed broadbands need lots of fiber optic cables and telecommunication towers.

Honasan, a former military, and senator said the government should allow more projects with private telecom companies to improve the internet quality and speed in the country.

DICT earlier issued certificates to 23 firms that have secured deals with the department. This would allow the companies to own, build, or operate cell towers in the Philippines.

Caintic also said the DICT would need P17 billion to “ up” the country’s “national digital highway” by installing fiber optic cables in the 81 provinces nationwide.

“Our plan is to first light up our national highway, which is the fiber optic cable of the national grid. Apart from that, we will also spend on microwave radio towers in far-flung areas not reachable by fiber,” Caintic bared.