The internet situation in the Philippines isn’t the best. With one of the slowest yet most expensive internet services, Filipinos aren’t usually getting their money’s worth.
Kapamilya star Liza Soberano recently had issues with rising internet service provider (ISP) Converge ICT.
Converge really needs to start fixing their internet speed. I am an unhappy customer.
— Liza Soberano (@lizasoberano) September 6, 2020
Converge responded within 30 minutes of her tweet, saying they sent Liza a message, but netizens weren’t happy based on replies they sent to Converge’s tweet to Liza.
Hi @lizasoberano, we have sent you a direct message. Kindly check your inbox. Thank you!
— Converge ICT (@Converge_CSU) September 6, 2020
Two days later, we get this:
Okay so @pldt came to my house yesterday and hooked me up with the best internet I have ever experienced in my whole 5 years of living in this house. 300 MBPS. What a lifesaver. Lag? I don’t know her.
— Liza Soberano (@lizasoberano) September 8, 2020
Oh wow! Talk about speed. 🚀 We're so thrilled that you can now experience a lag-free internet connection at home, Liza! 😉 Welcome to the family!
Should you need our online help, we're just a message away! ❤️
— PLDT Cares (@PLDT_Cares) September 8, 2020
It would have been nice to end there, but it doesn’t. Liza’s situation highlights something we Filipinos experience every day: horrible internet connection.
The reactions of netizens, including other celebrities, highlights this very fact:
— JULIA BARRETTO (@barrettojulia) September 8, 2020
PLDT, bekenemen! My pldt wifi doesn’t reach 1 MBPS for downloading and/or uploading everytime I test it…ONE. 😂 https://t.co/tVlF6AoOGM
— Bela Padilla (@padillabela) September 8, 2020
SANA OL LIZA TREATMENT https://t.co/dwqAdhyvRt
— francis (@FrancisM79) September 8, 2020
Sana all!, pag pangkaraniwang mamamayan dedmatology. Ibigay niyo naman ang deserve nila. https://t.co/nLtDPqNwZM
— ion perez (@pereziion27_) September 8, 2020
While customer service can be improved by having more people working in a telco’s customer service department, that will not suddenly increase our internet speeds.
The Philippines has consistently ranked as having one of the slowest internet speeds in the region and a middle-of-the-pack rank in the world. Recent numbers from Ookla puts our internet performance at 113th for mobile (16.95 mbps) and 109th for fixed (25.07 mbps)—that’s from over 190 countries.
For its part, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) have been hard at work to improve our speeds with better infrastructure through the reduction of red tape—something that has tied the hands of telcos PLDT-Smart and Globe for the longest time.
Telcos have had problems putting up new transmission towers due to stringent—and at times redundant—requirements from LGUs. Local homeowners associations have also blocked applications for supposed health concerns—concerns that have since been debunked.
DILG Sec. Eduardo Año said LGUs have approved 1,502 of the 1,930 applications for new cell sites for 2020 in 55 provinces and 25 cities. Several government agencies, including the DICT, DILG, and the Department of Public Works and Highways, have signed a joint memorandum circular that streamlines requirements and reduces delays in said approvals.
With the approval of DITO Telecommunity’s legislative franchise, prices and speeds across the three major telco players are expected to become competitive enough to answer the cries of Filipinos across the country.