Makati City Rep. Luis Campos Jr. wants to penalize telecommunications companies a P365-million annual fine over their failure to reach internet speed targets.
He filed House Bill 7479 that would allow the National Telecommunications Commission to impose P1-million per day or P365-million per year fine on telecoms that are found to “have violated, violating, or those which have failed or are failing… to comply with any order decision or regulation of the commission.”
“Filipinos deserve faster Internet speeds, which have been associated with higher economic productivity, stronger jobs creation and greater quality of life,” he said.
“We want the NTC to set faster Internet speed targets every year, and then penalize the service providers that fail to deliver,” he added.
The United Arab Emirates ranks No. 1 with 170.30 Mbps, while Afghanistan is No. 139 with 6.31 Mbps.
In fixed broadband, Campos said the Philippines ranks No. 103 with an average speed of only 28.69 Mbps.
Singapore ranks No. 1 with 241.10 Mbps, while Turkmenistan is at the tailend with 3.47 Mbps.
The Speedtest Global Index analyzes web access performance metrics around the world based on millions of tests taken by real people using the Internet.
Campos said on Sunday that the Philippines’ average Internet is even way behind those of its peers in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
“Among the 10 member countries of the ASEAN, for instance, our average mobile Internet speed is ranked the second-slowest,” Campos pointed out.
“In fact, our 18.49 Mbps represents just 60 percent of the 30.94 Mbps average mobile Internet speed across all ASEAN members,” Campos said.
“We are more concerned about mobile Internet speed because an overwhelming majority of Filipinos now access the web through their smartphones via their cellular telephone service provider,” Campos said.
Earlier, President Rodrigo Duterte threatened he would “close” all telecommunication providers and “expropriate” if their services would not improve by end of the year.
As of November 2020, fixed broadband speeds in the country rose to 28.69 mbps, 262.70 percent higher than the 7.91 mbps in July 2016, according to National Telecommunications Commission chief Gamaliel Cordoba.
Mobile internet speed in the Philippines also improved to 18.49 mbps in November 2020, a 148.52 percent jump from the country’s 7.44 mbps four years ago, he said.
The country’s internet use surged this year since most Filipinos have been forced to work and study at home following travel and mass gathering restrictions imposed to control the spread of COVID-19.
“We clearly still have one of the slowest Internet speeds in the world and in Asia,” Campos said.
Campos cited the need for Congress to empower the National Telecommunications that it can set compulsory deadlines for industry players to deliver faster Internet speeds.
“Filipinos deserve faster Internet speeds, which have been associated with higher economic productivity, stronger jobs creation and greater quality of life,” Campos said.
“We want the NTC to set faster Internet speed targets every year, and then penalize the service providers that fail to deliver,” Campos said.
As proposed by Campos in House Bill 7479, telecommunications firms that fail to reach the mandatory Internet speed targets will be slapped with a fine of P1 million per day, or P365 million per year, until they achieve compliance.