Filipinos need internet connectivity more than ever as most professionals are now working from home and as students start taking their classes online. However, the internet in the Philippines remains unreliable. Most people find their connection slow, unavailable, and quite frustrating. Why is that so?
How Fast is Philippine Internet?
According to an Ookla Speedtest in August 2020, the Philippines ranked at the lower part of the global index in terms of average broadband and mobile speeds. At 16.44Mbps for mobile downloads, the country landed the 199th spot out of 139. With 25.34Mbps for broadband, we landed at the 106th place out of 174.
Here’s how internet in the Philippines fair as compared to other countries:
Philippines Internet Speed vs Other Countries
|Country||Average Mobile Download Speed||Average Broadband Download Speed|
The results aren’t surprising and just re-affirms Filipinos’ internet woes. However, it’s a far cry from South Korea’s 113.01Mbps speed for mobile downloads and Singapore’s 218.07Mbps for broadband downloads.
For the full list of speed test results, click here.
The Price of Internet in the Philippines
Despite having the second cheapest mobile data per gig in the Asia Pacific, the internet in the Philippines also remains quite expensive. In the Digital Quality of Life Index 2020, the Philippines lands at the 82nd place, out of 85 spots in terms of internet affordability.
The study also reveals that it takes 1,994 seconds of work to get the cheapest mobile internet and 75 minutes of work to afford the cheapest broadband internet in the country.
Here’s how our internet prices fair with other countries. Prices were converted to Philippine peso with a conversion of 1 USD = PHP 50 for better appreciation:
|Country||Price per 100Mbps Plan|
|South Africa||$87.24 (PHP 4,362)|
|Iceland||$69.05 (PHP 3,452)|
|Canada||$62.36 (PHP 3,118)|
|Philippines||$56.24 (PHP 2,812)|
|United States of America||$50 (PHP 2,500)|
|Germany||$46.92 (PHP 2,346)|
|Indonesia||$44.57 (PHP 2,228)|
|Mexico||$34.68 (PHP 1,734)|
|Malaysia||$29.08 (PHP 1,454)|
|Thailand||$20.23 (PHP 1,011)|
|Hong Kong||$18.89 (PHP 944)|
|India||$16.66 (PHP 833)|
|China||$11.52 (PHP 576)|
|Hungary||$10.32 (PHP 516)|
|Ukraine||$6.19 (PHP 309)|
Read more: How to Find the Best Broadband Plan for You
So Why is Internet in the Philippines Expensive?
The country has over 7,000 islands making it difficult to construct fixed networks.
In addition, the process of building cell towers is extremely time-consuming and hard. You need to get to layers of bureaucracy before a permit is approved. First, you need to get a permit from the barangay where the cell tower will be built then you would need to get various permits at the city or municipal level. You also need another set of permits and approvals from various national agencies.
On average, 25 to 30 permits from Local Government Units (LGUs) are needed to build just one cell site. The process also takes approximately eight months.
In other countries, governments actively invest in ICT infrastructures to provide better internet service to their citizens. While the Philippine government is doing its part to improve every Filipino’s connectivity, much of the burden is still carried by the private sector.
Additionally, there are only two major internet companies in the country. Despite having various internet service providers, PLDT and Globe still have the biggest market share. In fact, Globe hits an all-time high market share of 84.4% in the first quarter of 2019 for its home broadband.
In August, the House of Representative granted DITO Telecommunity a 25-year franchise, allowing the company to operate in the country. The China-led company is said to be the third telco company that will the long-standing telco monopoly in the country.
Will the presence of a third major telco in the country solve our internet woes? We’ve yet to find out.
List of Internet Providers in the Philippines
Sure, the internet in the Philippines is slow and expensive, but we take what we can get. Here are the top internet service providers in the country:
One of the two major telcos in the country, PLDT offers DSL and Fibr internet plans for as low as PHP 999 a month. They also offer Fibr Plus plans which include mesh technology and Cignal HDTV.
PLDT DSL and Fibr Plans:
|PLDT DSL Unlimited Plan||1Mbps||Unlimited||PHP 999|
|PLDT DSL FamPlan||3Mbps||Unlimited||PHP 1,299|
|PLDT Home Unli Fibr 1299||10Mbps||Unlimited||PHP 1,299|
|PLDT Home Unli Fibr 1699||25Mbps||Unlimited||PHP 1,699|
|PLDT Home Unli Fibr 2399||50Mbps||Unlimited||PHP 2,399|
|PLDT Home Unli Fibr 2999||100Mbps||Unlimited||PHP 2,999|
|PLDT Fibr Plus Plan 2499||50Mbps||Unlimited||PHP 2,499|
|PLDT Fibr Plus Plan 3099||100Mbps||Unlimited||PHP 3,099|
|PLDT Fibr Plus Plan 4099||150Mbps||Unlimited||PHP 4,099|
Globe offers broadband and LTE internet services for as low as PHP 1,299 for 10Mbps. The telco company also offers broadband internet plans with no-lock up periods.
Globe Broadband and LTE Plans:
|Globe At Home Go Big LTE 1299||10Mps||150GB||PHP 1,299|
|Globe At Home Go Big LTE 1599||10Mbps||500GB||PHP 1,599|
|Globe At Home Go Big 1699||20Mbps||600GB||PHP 1,699|
|Globe At Home Go Big 1899||50MBps||600GB||PHP 1,899|
|Globe At Home Unli 1699||20Mbps||Unlimited||PHP 1,699|
|Globe At Home Unli 1899||30Mbps||Unlimited||PHP 1,899|
|Globe At Home Unli 2499||50Mbps||Unlimited||PHP 2,499|
|Globe At Home Unli 2899||100Mbps||Unlimited||PHP 2,899|
3. Converge ICT
Converge offers competitive and affordable internet plans that can rival both PLDT and Globe. For as low as PHP 1,500 you get 25Mbps and unlimited download per month.
Converge Broadband Plans:
|Fiber X 1500||25Mbps||Unlimited||PHP 1,500|
|Fiber X 2500||75Mbps||Unlimited||PHP 2,500|
|Fiber X 3500||150Mbps||Unlimited||PHP 3,500|
|Fiber Xtreme 4500||300Mbps||Unlimited||PHP 4,500|
|iBiz 10||10Mbps||Unlimited||PHP 4,000|
|iBiz 20||20Mbps||Unlimited||PHP 6,000|
|iBiz 30||30Mbps||Unlimited||PHP 9,000|
4. One SKY
SKY Cable is the top cable TV provider in the country. They offer cable TV and internet plans for as low as PHP 999.
SKY Broadband Internet Plans:
|SKY Fiber Unli Broadband 999||10Mbps||Unlimited||PHP 999|
|SKY Fiber Unli Broadband 1499||25Mbps||Unlimited||PHP 1,499|
|SKY Fiber Unli Broadband 1999||50Mbps||Unlimited||PHP 1,999|
|SKY Fiber Unli Broadband 2499||75Mbps||Unlimited||PHP 2,499|
|SKY Fiber Unli Broadband 2899||100Mbps||Unlimited||PHP 2,899|
|SKY Fiber Unli Broadband 3499||150Mbps||Unlimited||PHP 3,499|
|SKY Fiber Unli Broadband + Home WiFi 1799||30Mbps||Unlimited||PHP 1,799|
|SKY Fiber Unli Broadband + Home WiFi 2799||60Mbps||Unlimited||PHP 2,799|
|SKY Fiber Unli Broadband + Home WiFi 3799||120Mbps||Unlimited||PHP 3,799|
- Wireless Internet on the Go: 5 Pocket WiFi Options for Filipinos
- Working from Home? Prepaid Home WiFi Options and Their Features
These days, fast and reliable internet is essential. While internet in the Philippines continue to be one of the slowest and most expensive globally, new technologies are on their way to make Filipinos more connected than ever. Until they reach our soil, let’s keep our fingers crossed a better internet connection in the Philippines.
-  Ookla Speedtest Index 2020
-  Philippines 2nd cheapest mobile data price per GB in AsPac — Globe (Mercurio, The Philippine Star, 2019)
-  The Digital Quality of Life Index 2020
-  The State of PH Telecoms Services (Department of Information and Communications Technology)
-  Globe Redefines Home Broadband Market with Fixed Wireless Strategy (Globe, 2019)
-  House grants 25-year franchise for PH’s 3rd telco player DITO (Cervantes, Philippine News Agency, 2020)
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