February 22 ------ The Philippines climbed 10 spots to 86th in the global mobile internet speed rankings in January this year, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) said Saturday. Citing a report from internet access performance metrics provider Ookla, the DICT said the country’s rise to the 86th spot is an improvement from its 111th rank in the same period in 2020.
Ookla's speed test analysis by covers 140 countries. Data from the internet metrics provider showed Philippine telcos in particular, the DICT said the country’s fixed broadband average download speed was recorded at 32.73 Mbps (megabits per second). The country retained its 100th ranking in the fixed broadband global average category, it said. “Additionally, compared to December 2020, the Ookla January 2021 results witnessed a 4.10% increase from 31.44 Mbps (fixed broadband), and 14.53% from 22.50 Mbps (mobile),” according to the DICT.
After President Duterte’s mandate to advance improvements in telco services to ensure the country’s internet speed and quality to keep up with our Southeast Asian neighbors, the Philippine government had been closely monitoring telco’s performance, the agency noted. Moreover, the government has been providing assistance to telcos in their infrastructure buildup by expediting the approval of tower permits as a measure to improve internet services amid the ongoing pandemic, it added. ICT Secretary Gregorio Honasan II noted that the DICT will continue to coordinate with the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to help ensure that the telco’s roll-out plans are complied with in a timely manner.
“Our vision of digital transformation shall be realized if all Filipinos, regardless of who they are and where they are in the country, have quality access to Internet connectivity services at affordable prices,” Honasan said. The DICT and NTC are conducting bi-monthly meetings with telcos to check on the status of their network roll-out plans and to address any problems that may cause lags in its implementation.
For his part, Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) Director General Jeremiah Belgica welcome the improvement in the country’s world internet speed ranking. “For the moment, I celebrate with all government agencies especially DICT, who toiled for the streamlining and faster processing of permits for the construction of more cell site towers. I am greatly encouraged that all of our hard work to help the private sector in this area is starting to pay off for the people,” Belgica said in a separate statement.
Likewise, he said the issuance of the Joint Memorandum Circular (JCM) by ARTA, DICT, and other agencies, which streamlined the permits system and reduced the processing time from eight to nine months to not more than 16 days “was indeed a concerted effort by the government and private entities as we all sought to heed the President's call for faster internet speed for the Filipino People.”
“More so, Bayanihan 2 has even streamlined and pushed this same initiative further when it set at a minimum what permits and licenses may be required from telco companies building their cell site,” Belgica added. Moreover, the ARTA, DICT, and other signatory agencies will be issuing a supplemental JMC to harmonize the provisions and clarify the application of the first JMC as it is implemented together with the Bayanihan 2 provisions.