Latest figures from Ookla’s Speedtest Global Index show continuous improvements in average internet speeds in the Philippines.
For July 2021, the country recorded an average download speed of 71.17 megabits per second (Mbps) for fixed broadband — significantly higher than the 66.55 Mbps average speed recorded in June.
For mobile internet, average download speed is now at 33.69 Mbps from 32.84 Mbps the previous month.
With these improvements, the Philippines’ global rank currently sits at 63rd out of 180 countries for fixed broadband and 72nd out of 139 countries for mobile internet, respectively.
In Asia, the Philippines ranked 17th for fixed broadband and 23rd for mobile internet out of 50 countries.
Meanwhile, the Philippines placed 5th out of 10 countries in both fixed broadband and mobile internet in the ASEAN region.
In the same month last year (July 2020), average internet speeds in the country were only at 25.07 Mbps for fixed broadband and 16.95 Mbps for mobile Internet.
“These data show us the impressive rate of growth of our country’s internet speeds in just a year,” DICT Secretary Gregorio “Gringo” B. Honasan II said.
“Your DICT will continue to coordinate with the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) as well as with other government agencies and private stakeholders to ensure that internet speeds for fixed broadband and mobile internet will continue their upward trajectory in the coming months,” he added.
The increase in internet speed in the country was the result of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s directive last year for telcos to improve their services amid the pandemic, and of the strengthened roll-out of DICT’s digital connectivity initiatives, especially the Common Tower Policy.
The said policy not only allows sharing of cell towers among telcos but also promotes streamlined processing of permits for building common towers.
Complementing the said policy, the DICT, Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) and other key agencies also issued the revised and expanded Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) No 001, s. 2021 for the streamlined process of securing permits, licenses, and authorizations for building Passive Telecommunications Tower Infrastructures (PTTIs).
The new JMC harmonizes the provisions of the original policy and specific provisions of Republic Act No. 11494 or the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act on tower buildup during the pandemic.
“Through our collective efforts in the government, we have significantly eased up bureaucratic processes in the issuance of permits for cell towers. Hence, we encourage tower companies and telcos to avail of the collocation services contained in the common tower policy to qualify for the benefits under the JMC,” Secretary Honasan said.
Other major digital connectivity initiatives of the DICT include the National Broadband Program (NBP), the Government Network (GovNet), and the Free Wi-Fi for All Program.