Standard internet speed in Philippines sought

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Several senators filed a bill seeking to set a minimum standard internet speed in Philippines amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, Senators Grace Poe, and Manny Pacquiao filed Senate Bill 1831 or the proposed “Better Internet Act.” The bill aims to establish a minimum download speed that internet providers need to provide to their subscribers:

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  • 10 Megabits per second (Mbps) for fixed broadband and 5 Mbps for mobile broadband in highly urbanized cities;
  • 5 Mbps for fixed broadband and 3 Mbps for mobile broadband services in all other cities; and
  • 3 Mbps for fixed broadband and 2 Mbps for mobile broadband services in rural areas.

“The State shall ensure that all Public Telecommunications Entities (PTEs) and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) will continuously upgrade their facilities and improve their services to be responsive to the growing demand for quality Internet access services,” the bill said.

The proposal would also mandate the National Telecommunications Commission () to require all ISPs and PTEs to extend and expand the service coverage of fixed and mobile Internet service in all unserved and underserved areas in the Philippines within three (3) years from the effective date of this Act (the “Compliance Period”), according to the schedule and strategy to be set forth by the DICT in the National ICT Household Plan.

Standard internet speed in Philippines sought

PTEs and ISPs shall deliver paid broadband service to subscribers at a minimum download speed of:

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  • 10 Megabits per second (Mbps) for fixed broadband and 5 Mbps for mobile broadband in highly urbanized cities;
  • 5 Mbps for fixed broadband and 3 Mbps for mobile broadband services in all other cities; and
  • 3 Mbps for fixed broadband and 2 Mbps for mobile broadband services in rural areas.

Providers that would not comply with the internet service standards would face a penalty of a fine not less than P200,000 but not more than P2 million for each count of the violation.

The penalty for a service provider with a gross annual income not exceeding P10 million would be equivalent to one percent to two percent (2%) of its yearly gross income.

NTC Deputy Commissioner Edgardo Cabarios earlier admitted that there is no standard internet speed in Philippines that providers should meet.

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