The Philippines’ broadband and mobile internet speed continues to improve in February 2021, according to global monitoring firm Ookla Speedtest, with the Philippines now at the 83rd spot for mobile and 92nd for fixed broadband in a ranking of 140 countries.

The country moved up three spots from its 86th ranking for mobile, and 8 notches from its 100th ranking for fixed broadband last January 2021.

“Since the President placed great emphasis on the need to improve the connectivity experience for Filipinos, everyone in government, telecommunication companies, and mobile network operators had been diligently doubling efforts to enhance Internet connectivity and access in the country,” DICT Secretary Gregorio B. Honasan II said.

As stated in the Ookla report, the country’s average download speed for February 2021 surged to 38.46 Mbps (fixed broadband) and 26.24 Mbps (mobile internet).

For the fixed broadband category, the jump to the February rating saw a 17.51% or 5.73 Mbps increase from the 32.73 Mbps last January. As for the mobile internet speed, the January figures recorded 25.77 Mbps, showing a slight increase in average download speed.

The fixed broadband average download speed of 38.46 Mbps for February 2021 registered its highest increase since the onset of the Duterte administration—a 386.22% increase from the recorded figure of 7.91 Mbps back in July 2016. As for mobile, there is a 252.68% increase from its speed of 7.44 Mbps back in July 2016.

The country had witnessed improved Internet speed after President Rodrigo Duterte stressed during his last State of the Nation Address (SONA) that telecommunication companies must shape up to meet the demands of the telecommuting population.

Since the President’s directive last July 2020, the DICT had been working with other agencies to expedite permitting requirements to support telcos with their intensified deployment of cellular towers. Owing to this, there was a significant increase in the number of cellular towers built from July 2020 to January 2021, totalling 3,211 new towers.

Moreover, to ensure telcos’ compliance with the President’s directives, the DICT and the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) are closely monitoring the progress of telcos vis-à-vis their submitted rollout plans for 2021.

Due to these efforts, the country now ranks 6th for both fixed broadband and mobile categories among the ten ASEAN countries. In Asia, the country placed 24th for fixed broadband and 25th for mobile out of 50 countries; and among the 46 Asia-Pacific countries, the Philippines ranks 18th for fixed broadband and 14th for mobile.

With the third major player Dito Telecommunity having begun their commercial rollout, Globe and PLDT are expected to continue ramping up their digital infrastructure rollout and working on improving their services.

“With our combined efforts, the Philippine broadband and mobile network experience had steadily undergone great improvements, and we look forward to what we can further achieve in the coming months,” Secretary Honasan said.