• President-elect Rodrigo Duterte warns telco giants to improve internet services or he will let foreign investors to do the job
  • In separate statements, telco companies Globe and PLDT said they support Duterte’s call for better internet services in the country
  • The Philippines remains to have one of the slowest and most expensive internet service in the world

Presumptive president Rodrigo Duterte gave telecommunications companies a stern warning to provide faster internet service or face competition from foreign investors.

The Philippines remains to have one of the slowest internet speed in the world, ranking 176th out of 202 countries and 2nd to the last in the 22 countries in Asia. It is also among the most expensive, given the poor service, at $18.19 per Mbps, which is 3 times higher than the average of $5.21 worldwide.

“You improve the service or I will open the Philippines. All can come in,” Duterte said.

He also added that the internet service should be faster and affordable. The president-elect is confident, despite his lack of technology know-how, that having faster internet connectivity will help accelerate the development in the country. He stressed, however, that if a cartel is controlling the sector, telco services will remain to have high cost but poor in quality, as per an article published by Inquirer.

Globe Telecom and Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company released separate statements in reaction to Duterte’s warning, as per an article published by GMA News,

“We support the call for faster internet. In fact, Globe is at the forefront of building the much needed infrastructure nationwide to make Internet services easily accessible either through mobile or wireline. This is supported by heavy investments over the years to make sure the Philippines is at par with other countries in terms of technology use,” said  Globe Senior Vice President for Corporate Communications Yoly Crisanto

“We are aligned with government efforts to improve telecom services. PLDT is in fact in the middle of a major 3-year network  investment program that is in process of  significantly improving telecom and Internet services for PLDT and Smart customers and will  support national development initiatives,” said PLDT spokesman Ramon Isberto.

Crisanto added that the government “also plays a role in improving Internet services. Including IP peering and addressing the issues on permitting so infrastructure builds can happen faster and at less cost.”

The telco giant said it welcomes entry of new players in the sector.