The Asean Travel Forum was hosted last January in Manila. And most of the delegates attending Asean largest meeting for the tourism industry complaint about the sluggish connection to internet in both the convention venue and in hotels. Despite numerous promises of the government to provide the country with 4G high speed connections, the Philippines in year 2016 has probably one of the worst internet connectivity.
US Forbes magazine looked at the issue and tells how “things do not work”.
According to the publication, “the geography of the country with its 7,100 islands makes fixed networks particularly hard to build with permits being issued only at the smallest level of local government, and one by one”. Asked about the cause for low quality internet, Fiona Vanier, Senior Media Analyst for Market research company IHS Technology explained to the publication that ” government also charges “high fees,” a deterrent to any start-ups or foreign investors in broadband. A possible hidden help to the country’s largest broadband provider “Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co”. The firm controls much of the infrastructure and charges fees higher than elsewhere in Asia. Vanier said to Forbes that the company goes also on to charge other providers for traffic through its network while the Philippines lacks Internet peering, which slows broadband speeds.
Most fixed-line Internet users still use old systems such as xDSL rather than newer fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) technology, reducing speeds, says market research firm IDC’s Southeast Asia senior telecom research manager Alfie Amir. Last year, IDC says, just 2% of fixed Internet connections in the Philippines were FTTH, compared to 33% across Asia excluding Japan. And finally high-speed service remains rather expensive: US$57 a month on average more than in the USA Another deterrent element to grow the market and have high speed internet available across the country, including in hotels.