PH internet speeds continue to improve as of April 2021, NTC says

By: Gabriel Pabico Lalu - Inquirer.net | May 19,2021 - 07:33 AM

MANILA, Philippines — Internet speeds in the country have continued to improve as of April as shown in the Speedtest Global Index by Ookla, according to a statement issued on Tuesday by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).

In Ookla’s April 2021 report, the Philippines was ranked 84th in mobile internet speeds and 80th in fixed broadband speeds.

For mobile internet, the Philippines had an average download speed of 29.12 megabits per second (Mbps) and fixed broadband connections had an average speed of 49.31 Mbps.

As of March 2021, mobile internet had an average speed of 25.43 Mbps and fixed broadband had 46.25 Mbps.

The country also moved two spots from its mobile internet speed ranking last March and one spot higher for fixed broadband.

“April 2021 Ookla Speedtest Global Index report showed a 6.62% and a 14.51% monthly improvement in the Philippines’ fixed broadband and mobile average download speeds respectively,” the NTC said.

“The increase in speeds represents an impressive 23-notch improvement for fixed broadband and a 26-notch improvement for mobile in global rankings since November 2020,” it added.

Among Southeast Asian countries, the Philippines ranked sixth in mobile internet speed and fifth in fixed broadband speed. In fixed broadband speed, the Philippines was behind Singapore — which had the fastest fixed broadband speed of 245.5 Mbps — Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam.

“The improvement in the country’s internet speed comes after the President’s directive last July 2020 on the need to expedite the facilitation of LGU permits in relation to building cellular towers. Since then, there has been a significant increase in the issuance of permits from July 2020 to April 2021,” the NTC said.

President Rodrigo Duterte vented his ire on slow internet and weak signal connections during his fifth State of the Nation Address last July 2020, as the country saw slow speeds due to the increased public reliance on online services due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Duterte threatened telco firms with expropriation if they could not speed up their internet services.

Last August 2020, Ookla noted that average download speeds through mobile internet from March 30 to April 6 in 2020 — almost the same period as this year — ranged from 11.93 Mbps to 11.95 Mbps.  This is a difference of more than 13 Mbps compared to the figure last March.

The speeds came as Luzon, including Metro Manila, were placed under an enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to curb rising COVID-19 infections.

Internet speeds just started returning to pre-pandemic levels in August 2020 — as economic restrictions were loosened.

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TAGS: April 2021 report, improving, NTC, PH internet speed, Speedtest Global Index

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