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Vice presidentiables weigh in on slow Internet

/ 06:39 AM April 11, 2016

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With the Philippines having the second slowest internet speed in Asia, how will the vice presidential candidates address the connectivity woes in the country?

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First to present her solution was Liberal Party standard-bearer Leni Robredo, who enumerated three major reasons contributing to the problem.

The first one is the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC)’s lack of regulation, imposing only a P200 fine for erring telecommunication companies. Second, the lack of competition in the market, having few telecommunication companies monopolizing the services. Last is the lack of infrastructure.

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Robredo said she, along with LP standard-bearer Mar Roxas, proposed that the government infuse capital to improve infrastructure for connectivity.

“‘Yung government ang magte-take cudgels for that. Aayusin ang competition para hindi ma-monopolize,” she said.

For Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, connectivity woes could be addressed if the NTC would give franchises to at least five internet service providers to foster greater competition in the market.

“Lahat sila magpapagalingan, magpapabilisan at magpapabaan ng presyo. ‘Yan po ang free market concept,” he said.

As for the missionary areas where large-scale businesses cannot thrive, Trillanes said the government should provide infrastructure in these remote areas.

Senators Alan Peter Cayetano and Bongbong Marcos slammed the Aquino government for failing to provide a solution to the long-standing problem within the six-year term of President Aquino and for allowing the NTC to be controlled by telecommunication giants.

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Cayetano did not exactly give ways to address the issue but instead, he said: “Balitang balita ang naglalagay sa NTC sila (telcos) din. Kapag hawak ng mga telcos sa leeg ang mga pulitiko at sila pumupondo, wala kayong aasahan kahit anong ganda ng programa nila.”

On the other hand, Marcos raised the importance of having fast and stable internet connection as it would not only benefit citizens on social media but also those who are studying online and doing business through the internet.

He proposed to streamline the operation of NTC and allow international service providers to be part of the market.

“Competition is always good for the consumer,” said Marcos.

Like Marcos, Senator Gringo Honasan believes bringing in foreign competitors in the telecom industry would push telecommunication companies to compete in services and speed.

Senator Francis Escudero, meanwhile, claimed that the reason why the government is not addressing the slow internet speed in the country is for telecommunication giants to control how consumers use technology.

Escudero explained: “Kasi kapag mabilis na ang internet speed sa bansa, hindi na ho kayo magtetext o tatawag dahil viber or kahit anong application ang gagamitin niyo kaya ayaw nilang gawin.”

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TAGS: Alan Peter Cayetano, Antonio Trillanes, Bongbong Marcos, Chiz Escudero, Elections 2016, Ferdinand Marcos, Gringo Honasan, Internet, Leni Robredo, news, telecoms, UST debate, vice presidentiables, VotePh2016
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