Manila — Makati City Representative Luis Campos Jr. cited the Ookla Speedtest Global Index released last January and noted that the Philippines’ mobile internet speed went up from 22.50 to 25.77 megabits per second (Mbps), rising by 10 notches from the 96th to 86th in the worldwide rankings and overtaking both Malaysia and Myanmar in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region for the first time.

“There’s no question the political pressure brought to bear on telecommunications companies is starting to bear fruit,” Campos said, noting President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to seize the assets of telecommunications firms should they fail to improve their services during his fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA).

“Both PLDT Inc. and Globe Telecom Inc. are clearly also gearing up their networks for new competition, ahead of DITO Telecommunity Corp.’s launch of new mobile internet services in a couple of weeks,” Campos said.

He also pushed for the passage of a measure which seeks to “empower the National Telecommunications Commission so that it can set compulsory deadlines for industry players to deliver faster internet speeds under the pain of harsh regulatory fines.”

“The bill also seeks to tag high-speed internet as a basic telecommunications service to which every Filipino enjoys a right of access, rather than a value-added service (VAS).” Previously, telecommunications firms were free to set terms of service since internet connection is still classified as VAS.

According to the index, the Philippines now ranks sixth in mobile internet speed among 10 members of the ASEAN.

In a report by the Philippine News Agency (PNA), the country’s fixed broadband speed also improved slightly from 31.44 to 32.73 Mbps.

“The five ASEAN members with faster mobile internet speeds are Singapore (66.44 Mbps, 22nd worldwide); Thailand (50.00 Mbps, 36th); Brunei (36.75 Mbps, 56th); Vietnam (34.68 Mbps, 62nd); and Laos (27.55 Mbps, 80th),” the report noted.

In a report by The Philippine Daily Inquirer, the Philippines has been seeing improvements on its mobile internet speed due to the telco industry’s sustained investments in network infrastructure development, with Globe Telecom able to build 1,300 new towers in different locations across the country in 2020 or 18 percent more compared to 2019.

“Our rigorous site builds are starting to pay off. We are getting acknowledged by our customers who are feeling the service and internet improvements in areas where we have done new builds or site upgrades. As we continue our network improvements, our quality of service will be at par with our ASEAN neighbors,” Globe’s President and CEO Ernest Cu said, with the telecom company leading new cell site builds based on a report of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).

Globe is also supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, particularly UN SDG number 9 which focuses on the roles of infrastructure and innovation as “crucial drivers of economic growth and development” by committing to upholding the 10 United Nations Global Compact principles and 10 UN SDGs.