Davao City – There’s hope for netizens in the Philippines which is taunted as having the slowest internet speeds in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Internet speeds in the Philippines would speed up once the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) Submarine Terrestrial Cable Project (BEST Cable Project) is completed in 2018.
This was what Romeo Montenegro, the investment promotion and public affairs director of the Mindanao Development Authority (Minda), said Monday during the Kapihan sa Davao at SM City Davao.
Montenegro mentioned that the Philippines has one of the slowest internet speeds in Asia, adding that while neighboring countries have internet speeds of around 20 to 30 megabits per seconds (Mbps), the Philippines enjoys only around 3.5 Mbps.
In order to help remedy this, the project will involve laying down underground fiber-optic cables and connecting it with Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Guam, covering a distance of 5,092 kilometers.
Aside from making the country’s internet service faster, this project will also serve as the country’s alternative connection to the underground submarine cable that links the Philippines and Taiwan, especially in cases of calamities.
“It will provide us with redundant connectivity aside from the only connection that we have right now, which is from Taiwan. If you recall in 2008, nag-earthquake sa Taiwan. Naputol atong connection from Taiwan. (An earthquake struck Taiwan. Our connection was cut.) It caused massive internet disruptions,” Montenegro remarked.
Moreover, he mentioned that this will further boost the growing ICT sector in the Philippines, especially here in Mindanao in order to remain more competitive relative to other ASEAN states.
“If we’re looking into the future like 10 or 15 years from now, the internet will be a platform for our businesses and yet we’re having this kind of electronic situation. Malupigan gyud ta sa atong mga silingan sa ASEAN (our ASEAN neighbors get ahead of us),” he said.
Lastly, not only would this cable project be beneficial for the Philippines but it would also help improve the internet connection and economic integration among the member states of ASEAN.
“With this project, this will provide Mindanao and BIMP-EAGA with a stronger internet and ICT connection once this is completed,” Montenegro said.
The project will be led by a consortium of private business coming from across the BIMP-EAGA region.
The project is expected to be completed in 2018.
The internet broadband testing company Ookla said that as of July 2014, the Philippines ranked last among ASEAN countries in terms of broadband internet speed, clocking at 3.4 Megabits per second (Mbps).
Seeing it as a problem for the country, last April, Senator Bam Aquino called for a Senate hearing about the slow internet speeds in the country and how to speed them up. (davaotoday.com)