Call to Action: How we can push for faster PH internet
The Philippines was reported to hold the title of having the slowest internet in the ASEAN, and a lot of people are not happy about it. Following Sen. Bam Aquino’s call for investigating why we have slow and expensive internet in the PH, we thought of things that we can possibly have to improve the services that we have here in the Philippines.
Policies are the first things that we should look into as the internet utility here is a huge business; tinkering with the policies that govern us will also tinker with how things work. To push innovation and progress when it comes to internet services, or for any other business even, the market needs more competition — and in our case, we only have a few players — an internet oligopoly.
To get a better understanding of why our policies are not working in the internet consumers’ favor and why Filipinos pay more for slower internet, you can check out our article here dedicated for that. A video by Michael Jacob that can be seen above also questions the same query, and we have all arrived on the same answer: we have no choice but to pay for internet service despite the steep prices because there really is no other ISP that we can choose from.
One way is that we abolish the 60/40 foreign ownership rule so that we can attract more investors to create more competition in the market. This will allow creations of new and independent networks, plans and promos for us consumers. Another thing is that we can have the government open publicly funded cable systems and international gateways effectively adding more neutral pipes. The government, via the NTC, should also demand local peering between ISPs.
If we want to go a bit further, we can have illegal torrents fully blocked to help decongest the network. This has proven to be effective in countries such as Japan. We’ve also noticed that this has been partially implemented by some local telcos (we are getting a lot of reports that mobile Supersurf LTE plans by Globe has throttled torrents down to 10Kbps while maintaining faster speeds for direct downloads and streaming).
For other little things, we can push to have service trials before signing into contracts to grant us actual experience before committing to a lock-in period (something similar Sky Broadband’s 15-day trial). Lock-in periods of 12 and 24 months can also be reduced to 3 months or 6 months so that subscribers can easily switch to another provider if they are not satisfied with the speed and service.
Truth in advertising. This is where a lot of subscribers have been misled. We know that the “up to Mbps” promise is technically accurate (no ISP can guarantee minimum speed unless you’re on a very expensive dedicated or leased line) but that also provides the service providers an excuse. Perhaps we can set the average minimum speed guarantee to be around 60% of the promised speed. Otherwise, subscribers will be entitled to a full/partial rebate.
And lastly, the most obvious way to improve the average speed of internet is when service providers invest more in infrastructure, perhaps cutting their profit margins for the next couple of years to make way for innovation in the long run.
For some people, these suggestions may look like a far shot, but hey, all changes and things started off as ideas, and all that ideas need is a little fire to start with, and eventually it gains enough traction for action.
If you have any more ideas on how we can push for faster internet in the Philippines, feel free to let everyone know in the comment section down below. Start the conversation, sign a petition, and if we do it loud enough, they might hear.