PNA file photo

MANILA – Makati City 2nd District Rep. Luis Campos Jr. urged the government to set a deadline for telecommunication companies (telcos) to improve the internet speed in the country.

Campos made this call after the Philippines’ mobile internet speed slowed to an average of 32.12 megabits per second (Mbps) last month, causing the country to fall by four notches to rank No. 83 worldwide in Ookla’s May 2024 Global Speedtest Index.

“Telecommunication companies are simply not doing enough to improve their networks,” Campos said in a news release on Sunday.

“This is why we want Congress to pass a new law so that the government can set compulsory deadlines for telcos to deliver faster mobile internet speeds under pain of punitive regulatory fines,” he added.

In the same May 2024 rankings, the Philippines placed No. 6 among the 10 members the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The five ASEAN members with faster average mobile internet speeds than the Philippines were Brunei (107.40 Mbps, No. 15 worldwide); Singapore (99.29 Mbps, No. 21 worldwide); Malaysia (95.66 Mbps, No. 25 worldwide); Vietnam (52.15 Mbps, No. 57 worldwide); and Thailand (48.76 Mbps, No. 62 worldwide).

Campos has been batting for the passage of his House Bill No. 10215, which seeks to tag high-speed internet connection as a basic telecommunication service to which every Filipino enjoys a right of access, rather than a value-added service.

The reclassification would empower the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to impose rising minimum mobile internet speed targets that telcos must hit within prescribed deadlines.

Telcos that are unable to reach the target speeds would be subjected to severe fines of up to PHP1 million per day, or PHP365 million per year, until they achieve compliance.

“We want accelerating mobile internet speeds to improve public access to online resources, government services, education, and new opportunities,” Campos said.

In the April 2024 Speedtest rankings, the Philippines ranked No. 79 worldwide with a mobile internet speed that averaged 32.37 Mbps. (PR)