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Internet download speed fastest under Duterte

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By the end of December 2020, the Duterte administration recorded an all-time high average download speed improvement of 297.47 percent and 202.41 percent for fixed broadband and mobile broadband, respectively, based on Ookla’s report, according to a report by Philippine News Agency.

When President Rodrigo R. Duterte took office in July 2016, the Philippine’s average download speeds for fixed and mobile broadband were only at 7.91Mbps (megabits per second) and 7.44Mbps, and since then, he has been ordering telecommunications companies to keep improving their services.

In his fifth State-of-the-Nation Address last year, Duterte called on the telecommunication companies to improve their services before December.

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Based on more than 10 million unique speed tests crowdsourced by Ookla in December 2020 alone, the country’s average download speed for fixed and mobile broadband jumped to 31.44Mbps and 22.50Mbps, respectively.

Prior to the release of Ookla’s year-end report, telcos reported a 500 percent increase in data usage at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Maintenance work and upgrade for cellular sites also proved to be difficult due to the various coronavirus-related restrictions imposed in the country in addition to the infrastructure devastation brought by recent typhoons.

After getting national government’s support in their call for local government units (LGUs) to expedite permits related to building cellular towers, Globe lauded the Duterte administration’s implementation of the Bayanihan To Recover as One Act.

“Previously, we needed to wait and spend years to complete at least 29 permits. But with the help of the Bayanihan To Recover as One Act, LGUs are now enabled to become more open and supportive of our network roll-outs, especially in the past weeks,” said lawyer Froilan Castelo, Globe general counsel.

Smart Communications, Inc. also announced that it will be rolling out additional 2,000 cell sites in 2021 to further improve coverage and connectivity.

Through its Chief Administrative Officer Adel Tamano, Dito revealed it has built roughly 1,900 telecommunications towers as of December 2020, in preparation for its commercial launch target set in March 2021.

“President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive is very clear -- to improve internet connectivity in the Philippines to help the Filipino people better adapt to the new normal. That is why the DICT is doubling its efforts in accelerating the implementation of various digital connectivity initiatives, especially the National Broadband Program,” Department of Information and communication Technology Secretary Gregorio B. Honasan II said in a news release on Monday.

By 2021, Honasan said the Filipinos “can already feel the effects of said initiative.”


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