The Philippines House of Representatives has requested that the country’s top two mobile operators – Smart and Globe Telecom – explain why their broadband service is so poor and why their franchises should not be revoked.
Representative Harry Roque asked: “why are people not receiving the quality of service that they deserve and why should they have the privilege to keep their franchises,” the Manila Standard reported.
Roque noted that “common experience would reveal that the services provided by the major service providers have been below standard or inadequate”.
Another representative denounced the “greed of the telecoms duopoly”, which has 99 per cent of the country’s mobile connections, claiming they bring in huge profits despite their “lousy internet service”.
The House was told last week that the country’s internet speed is 22 times slower than Japan’s but 96 times more expensive.
According to wireless coverage mapping firm OpenSignal, the overall speed of the country’s 3G and 4G networks is just 3.13Mb/s, which is slower than India (5.13Mb/s), Myanmar (4.78Mb/s) and Pakistan (3.33Mb/s). The Philippines was ranked 89th out of 95 countries.
The Senate adjourned in early June without approving the extension of Smart’s 25-year franchise, which expires next year. The bill with the franchise extension, which has been in the Senate since October 2015, will need to go back to the committee level before it can be filed with the new Congress, which opened in July.