Politics

Gov’t to exert more pressure on telcos — Roque

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THE national government will exert more pressure on telecommunications firms to improve their services, Malacañang said on Tuesday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry L. Roque, Jr. said President Rodrigo R. Duterte had agreed with the recommendation of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) that telco companies should continue to “shape up” to improve the internet speed in the Philippines.

“The President agrees with the recommendation of the DICT. It is certainly needed to continue the ‘shape up’ and to really focus on telecoms to ensure that their services will continue to improve,” he said in mixed English and Filipino during a televised press briefing.

Mr. Roque said Mr. Duterte had agreed that internet connectivity in the country should be at the same level of Vietnam and Thailand.

DICT Assistant Secretary Emmanuel Rey R. Caintic earlier said there was “no reason” for the government to stop pushing for better telecommunications services, after Malacañang reported that internet speeds had improved due to the construction of new communication towers and the installation of fiber optic lines across the country.

A total of 2,939 telco towers were built between July and December last year.

Citing a report by Ookla, an internet speed testing site, Mr. Roque earlier said mobile download speeds improved by 202.4% between July 2016 and December 2020, while fixed broadband speeds rose 297.47% during the same period.

Ookla measured fixed broadband speed at 31.44 megabits per second (Mbps) in December last year from 7.91 Mbps in July 2016. Meanwhile, mobile download speeds improved to 22.50 Mbps from 7.44 Mbps over the same period.

Mr. Duterte in July 2020 told telcos to improve their services “before December” or risk shutdown. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza

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