As the world’s heaviest internet users, Filipinos could soon boost the country’s internet speeds to at least 65 megabits per second (Mbps) for fixed broadband and 30 Mbps for mobile internet access, according to a bill from the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Representative of the 6th district of Batangas. Ralph Recto becomes law.
House Bill (HB) No. 2567, or “An Act Requiring Internet Service Providers to Deliver a Minimum Standard for Internet Connection Speed,” recognized the importance of high-speed Internet connections for learning, business, and disaster relief efforts.
“Therefore, it obliges Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to provide their subscribers with minimum Internet speeds of 30 Mbps for mobile broadband/Internet access and 65 Mbps for fixed and fixed wireless broadband/Internet access,” the bill’s explanatory statement reads.
“ISPs need to ensure they are continually improving their system and working towards delivering an average internet connection speed that is above the global average,” she added.
Citing the United Nations (UN) General Assembly Human Rights Council that internet access should be encouraged and reaffirmed because it allows individuals to “exercise their right to freedom of speech and expression,” Recto’s bill reiterated that Filipinos are “the fattest of the world” are internet users” as ranked by social media companies Hootsuite and We are Social in their Digital 2022 April Global Statshot Report.
The average time Filipino netizens spend on any device is 10 hours and 23 minutes, while the global average is 6 hours and 53 minutes, the statement said.
“This should be supported by ISPs offering faster and broader services to meet the increasing demands of its subscribers,” Recto added in the bill dubbed the “Bilis Konek Act.”
“Faster internet speeds certainly come at a price, but a faster connection will be economical in the long run. However, the costs for larger bandwidths are definitely higher
Long-term gains will become more apparent through unprecedented convenience, increased productivity and better communication between sender and receiver,” the bill reads.
“Setting minimum internet connection speed standards not only ensures consumers get the best quality for the service they pay for, but also connects the country to our rapidly changing world,” she added.
Recto lamented that according to Ookla’s Speedtest Global Index report, the Philippines’ average fixed broadband download speed in April 2022 was 55.21 Mbps, while the country’s average mobile broadband download speed in April 2022 was 19.45 Mbps /s fraud.
Despite the slow speed compared to the global average – the average download speed worldwide is 30.75 Mbps for mobile broadband and 63.46 Mbps for fixed broadband – the Philippines’ internet speed has improved in 2021-2022.
“However, there is still a need to ensure that this standard is maintained for the majority of service users,” the bill says.
Section 6 of HB 2567 set out the penalties for ISPs that would not meet the minimum standards set out in the proposed measure.
Penalties and fines, if convicted, would amount to no less than P200,000 and no more than P2 million.
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