The Philippines climbed a few spots in a global ranking of mobile internet speeds in July, according to the latest figures released by global internet speed monitoring firm Speedtest by Ookla.
In the July 2021 Ookla Speedtest Global Index, the country rose three spots to 72nd in terms of mobile internet speed from 75th in June out of 139 countries included in the list.
Ookla figures show the Philippines’ average mobile internet download speed improved to 33.69 megabits per second (Mbps) from 32.84 Mbps in the prior month.
Mobile upload speed, meanwhile, slightly slowed down to 8.83 Mbps from 8.92 Mbps in June.
In terms of fixed broadband, the Philippines stepped down one spot to 63rd from 62nd out of 180 countries.
Despite the ranking downgrade, the country’s fixed broadband average download speed improved to 71.17 Mbps from 66.55 Mbps in the previous month.
Fixed broadband upload speed, likewise, rose to 71.22 Mbps from 66.86 Mbps in June.
The Ookla Speedtest Global Index considers countries with at least 300 unique user results for mobile or fixed broadband to be ranked in either category.
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 Southeast Asia region.
“These data show us the impressive rate of growth of our country’s internet speeds in just a year,” Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Secretary Gregorio Honasan II said in a statement.
“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,” Honasan added.
Honasan said the increase in internet speed in the country gained traction after President Rodrigo Duterte issued a 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,” 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. —LBG, GMA News