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PH internet speeds ‘improved’ in February, says Ookla

/ 06:43 PM March 02, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—Data from worldwide internet speed monitoring firm Speedtest showed that the Philippines’ internet speeds — both in the fixed broadband and mobile internet categories — continued to improve in February.

According to the Ookla Speedtest Global Index, the Philippines’ average download speed of 32.73 megabits per second (Mbps) for fixed broadband last January jumped to 38.46 Mbps for February, for a 5.73 Mbps or 17.51 percent increase.

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Mobile internet speeds are now at 26.24 Mbps, from 25.77 Mbps in January.

READ: PH improves in mobile and fixed internet download speeds: Ookla® Speedtest Global Index 

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These figures are significantly higher compared to almost a year ago, when the COVID-19 pandemic forced the national government to place the whole of Luzon and other areas under a strict lockdown.

This lockdown, however, led several businesses to adopt work-from-home schemes through telecommuting and schools to do online classes.  However, the rapid and massive shift to online platforms took a toll on internet speeds, as Speedtest data showed that the country’s fixed broadband and mobile speeds were just at 20.40 Mbps and 13.95 Mbps, respectively.

Data speeds only started to improve after July — but not without earning the ire and fury of netizens and even President Rodrigo Duterte himself.

READ: Speedtest data: PH internet speeds returning to pre-pandemic levels 

During his last State of the Nation Address, Duterte threatened telecommunication companies with expropriation or government taking over their operations if internet speeds and signal availability do not improve, especially since students and workers rely heavily on online services.

READ: Duterte warns Smart, Globe of expropriation 

Internet accessibility has been a problem of the country even before the pandemic started, being notoriously behind some of its Asean neighbors in terms of data speeds.  However, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has repeatedly assured that changes would follow after Duterte’s directive.

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Last January, NTC ordered telcos to submit their rollout plans for 2021 so that authorities can gauge how much the country’s internet services would improve.

The commission also noted that the entry of another telco player Dito Telecommunity prompted mainstays Globe and Smart, to pour in more resources to improve their services.

READ: NTC orders telcos to submit 2021 rollout plans to improve internet speeds 

READ: NTC seeks revision of right-of-way rules for telco sites 

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TAGS: COVID-19 pandemic, fixed broadband, internet speeds, lockdown, mobile internet, National Telecommunications Commission, NTC, online classes, Ookla Speedtest Global Index, Philippine news updates, Speedtest, work from home
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