NTC to meet with telcos next month on status of country's internet speed

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 24 2021 01:05 PM | Updated as of Jan 24 2021 02:00 PM

A cellular site tower in Caloocan City on Aug. 06, 2020. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File

Manila - The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) said Sunday it would meet with telecom firms and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to ensure their plans for improvement this year would be "completed" on time.

The first bi-monthly meeting will be in the first week of February, where telcos are expected to brief the NTC on the status of their network roll-outs and the problems they encountered, the NTC said in a statement.

The NTC said it would "push for front-loaded implementation of telcos’ roll-out plans, particularly for the first 2 quarters of 2021."

The commission's monitoring comes after President Rodrigo Duterte last year threatened he would "close" all telecommunication providers and "expropriate" if their services won't improve by the end of that year.

The commission, citing data from the Ookla Speedtest Global Index, said the country's mobile Internet connection speed was at 22.50 megabits per second (mbps) in December versus 18.49 mbps the previous month.

The improvement raised the country’s rank to 29th from 34th among 50 Asian countries, and to 18th from 22nd out of 46 Asia Pacific countries, the NTC said.

Globe said it has finalized partnerships with 11 tower companies, while Smart said it has agreements with 9 tower companies, it added.

Globe and Smart also increased capital expenditures to P90 billion and P92 billion, respectively, in 2021 in anticipation of DITO Telecommunity's launch in March, according to the NTC.

"Both investments are the highest annually for each telco for the past six years," it said.

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