Philippine internet slowest among ASEAN members? Bam Aquino seeks probe on 'slow, expensive' internet


Inforgraphic by ASEAN DNA

The Senate should investigate why consumers are paying "steep" prices for "poor" Internet connectivity in the country, Senator Paolo Benigno "Bam" Aquino IV said Tuesday, April 22.

Aquino voiced the complaint of Filipino netizens, calling on the Senate to investigate the “slow, expensive” Internet connection in the Philippines provided by telecommunication companies.

The neophyte lawmaker made his call after ASEAN DNA reported that the Philippines is among the countries with the slowest internet connection in the region.

According to ASEAN DNA, the Philippines (3.6 megabytes per second) lags behind Laos (4.0 Mbps), Indonesia (4.1 Mbps), Myanmar and Brunei (4.9 Mbps), Malaysia (5.5 Mbps) and Cambodia (5.7 Mbps).

Other countries mentioned in the report include Vietnam (13.1) and Thailand (17.7), the only two other Southeast Asian countries joining Singapore (61.0) as those above the ASEAN average of 12.4 Mbps.  

Aquino will file a Senate resolution next month to formalize his proposal, his office said.

Aquino said he wants to know why other Southeast Asian countries enjoy faster Internet connection at “a much cheaper price while the Philippines bears the brunt of slow connection.

The senator pointed out that on the average, local consumers spend around P1,000 a month for Internet service with speeds of up to two megabytes per second (MBPS) or about P2,000 for up to five MBPS.

He said Singapore's Singtel offers 15 Mbps internet for SGD 36.90, or around P1,312 a month.

Thailand's True Internet, meanwhile, provides 12 Mbps for about 799 baht or P1,100.

The senator likewise said that the Senate should ponder ways to improve the Philippines' Internet infrastructure, which he said is vital to the country's economic growth.

In 2011, the United Nations recognized Internet access as a human right. - with report from Philippine Star

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