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New bill proposes penalties for internet speed shortfalls in Philippines

In a move aimed at improving the country’s internet woes, Makati City Representative Luis Campos Jr. refiled a bill that would penalize telcos for failing to meet mandatory internet speed targets.

House Bill (HB) 10215 proposes hefty fines of up to PHP 1 million per day, translating to a maximum penalty of PHP 365 million annually, for telcos that fall short of the designated benchmarks. The fines will persist until full compliance is achieved.

The bill also emphasizes the need to establish stricter industry standards and empower the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to enforce them.

A crucial aspect of the bill involves reclassifying internet connection from a value-added service (VAS) to a “basic service.” This shift would grant the NTC the necessary authority to impose stricter regulations and enforce mandatory improvements on internet service providers. Amending Republic Act No. 7925, or the Public Telecommunications Policy Law, is necessary to enact this change.

The Philippines currently ranks 11th globally in terms of internet users, with an estimated 85 million Filipinos accessing the web primarily through mobile phones. This translates to a penetration rate of 74% of the population.

However, the average mobile internet speed in the country remains at 32.37 Mbps, significantly slower compared to regional peers like Thailand (45.05 Mbps), Vietnam (50.88 Mbps), and Singapore (101.43 Mbps) according to the latest Speedtest Global Index by Ookla. Technobaboy

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