Written by: Maine Dela Cruz
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in lockdown after lockdown since 2020, disrupting the way people live their lives. Because of this, Filipinos’ reliance on the internet has been at an all-time high. Internet providers in the Philippines have seen a surge in the number of subscriptions as more and more households resorted to the internet for work, school, and recreation.
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As the demand skyrocketed, you might have asked, “has the Philippines’ internet speed been able to keep up?” Let us find out as we discuss in this article the countrys’ rank in internet connection speeds in 2021.
Has the Philippines’s average internet speed improved in 2021?
The Ookla Speedtest Global Index surveyed countries with at least 300 unique user results for mobile or fixed broadband speeds and then ranked in either category. As of July 2021, the Philippines’ internet speed has shown improvement in both categories. However, this does not automatically mean our country’s ranking has risen both ways.
Mobile internet speed rank
For July 2021, Ookla ranked mobile broadband internet speeds in 130 countries and fixed broadband internet speeds in 180 countries.
During the said period, the Philippines has risen three places in a global internet speed ranking based on the performance metrics firm Ookla’s assessment of mobile internet speeds.
According to Ookla’s July 2021 evaluations, the Philippines recorded a mobile internet speed of 33.69 megabits per second (Mbps) for download, an upload speed of 8.83 Mbps, and a latency of 31 milliseconds (ms).
In comparison to July 2020 when the Philippines was placed 114th, the country has advanced 42 positions. Additionally, we have moved up three spots from 75th position in June 2021 placing us in rank 72.
Fixed broadband internet rank
Meanwhile, while the Philippines’ fixed broadband internet speeds were significantly better than last year, they fell in the rankings as Paraguay took up 62nd position, dropping the Philippines to 63rd.
As of July 2021, the Philippines’ fixed broadband internet has a download speed of 71.17 megabits per second (Mbps), an upload speed of 71.22 Mbps, and a latency of 22 milliseconds. With a download speed of 71.86 Mbps, Paraguay surpasses the Philippines.
Despite the drop in the rankings, the Philippines’ average fixed broadband download speed increased from 66.55 Mbps in the previous month.
Countries with the fastest internet speeds
The global averages for mobile broadband internet hit download speeds of 55.07 Mbps, upload speeds of 12.35 Mbps, and a latency of 37 ms. Meanwhile, fixed broadband internet is 107.50 megabits per second download, 58.27 megabits per second upload, and 20 milliseconds latency.
Top 10 Countries with the Fastest Mobile Internet Speeds (Mbps) in 2021
In 2021, these countries recorded the fastest mobile internet speeds:
- United Arab Emirates – 238.06
- South Korea – 202.61
- Norway – 177.72
- Qatar – 172.18
- China – 165.38
- Kuwait – 157.18
- Saudi Arabia – 155.97
- Cyprus – 144.64
- Bulgaria – 142.27
- Switzerland – 135.70
Top 10 Countries with the Fastest Broadband Internet Speeds (Mbps) in 2021
In 2021, these countries recorded the fastest fixed broadband internet speeds:
- Monaco – 261.82
- Singapore – 255.83
- Hong Kong (China) – 254.70
- Romania – 232.17
- Switzerland – 229.96
- Denmark – 227.91
- Thailand – 225.17
- Chile – 217.60
- France – 214.04
- South Korea – 212.57
Ranking of average internet speeds in Asia
In Asia, the Philippines ranked 17th for fixed broadband and 23rd for mobile internet out of 50 countries. Meanwhile, in the Southeast Asia region, the Philippines placed 5th out of 10 countries in both fixed broadband and mobile internet speeds.
According to a press statement by then-secretary of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Gregorio Honasan II, the data was indicative of the impressive rate of growth of the country’s internet speeds in just a year. He also assured that DICT will continue to coordinate with the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) as well as with other government agencies and private stakeholders to ensure that average speeds for fixed broadband and mobile internet will continue their upward trajectory in the months to come.
The reason behind the improvement
Honasan said the increase in internet speed in the country gained traction after President Rodrigo Duterte issued a directive last year for telcos to improve their services amid the pandemic and of the strengthened roll-out of DICT’s digital connectivity initiatives, especially the Common Tower Policy.
The said policy not only allows sharing of cell towers among telcos but also promotes the streamlined processing of permits for building common towers.
Complementing the said policy, the DICT, Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA), and other key agencies also issued the revised and expanded Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) No 001, s. 2021 for the streamlined process of securing permits, licenses, and authorizations for building Passive Telecommunications Tower Infrastructures (PTTIs).
The new JMC harmonizes the provisions of the original policy and specific provisions of Republic Act No. 11494 or the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act on tower buildup during the pandemic.
“Through our collective efforts in the government, we have significantly eased up bureaucratic processes in the issuance of permits for cell towers. Hence, we encourage tower companies and telcos to avail of the collocation services contained in the common tower policy to qualify for the benefits under the JMC,” Honasan said.
Other major digital connectivity initiatives of the DICT include the National Broadband Program (NBP), the Government Network (GovNet), and the Free Wi-Fi for All Program.
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