Internet speed increases despite lockdowns, typhoons and surge in demand

The country’s internet continues to improve based on a November report by Ookla, the global leader in mobile and broadband network intelligence, testing applications and technology. 

For fixed broadband, the latest report reflected the country’s average download speed at 28.69Mbps, a 262.71% increase from its download speed of 7.91Mbps back in July 2016.  

Meanwhile, mobile network overall performance yielded an average download speed of 18.49Mbps showing an increase of 148.52% from its speed of 7.44Mbps back in July 2016.

The constant increase in internet speed happened despite COVID-19 pandemic-related lockdowns in various areas of the country which began March 2020. The lockdowns significantly hindered telcos from proceeding with infrastructure roll-out and maintenance of cell sites.  

Notably, the improvements also transpired as the country reeled from the devastation caused by Typhoons “Ambo”, “Quinta”, Super Typhoon “Rolly” and Typhoon “Ulysses”.  Region II, the National Capital Region, CALABARZON, Central Luzon and nearby provinces, Oriental and Occidental Mindoro, Quezon province, the Bicol Region, Northern and Eastern Samar, CARAGA, Bukidnon and Davao del Norte were severely affected by these natural calamities. 

The report also comes at a time when telcos reported a 500% increase in demand of internet services due to the rise of work, education and entertainment-related usage brought about by the lockdowns. 

Telcos’ performance are being closely monitored by lawmakers after President Duterte’s mandate that telco service significantly improve by the end of this year.   

The country’s internet speed is expected to improve further as Local Government Units and the Department of Interior and Local Government have promised to extend its full cooperation in expediting permits related to building cellular towers.  

Expediting the processing of permits to enable the telco industry to build the infrastructure needed to improve connectivity in the country was an appeal done previously by Globe President and CEO Ernest Cu. 

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said that more than 2,200 applications for permits of telco firms to build cell towers have been approved recently in a move to fast-track construction of cell sites for better connectivity services by the end of the year. 

Telco market competition is also expected to intensify early next year as DITO Telecommunity launches commercially on March 2021.  DITO plans to build 2,000 cellular towers this year.

Topics: Ookla , Eduardo Año , Ernest Cu , Rodrigo Duterte , Ernest Cu , Globe , DITO
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