MANILA — The House Committee on Information and Communication Technology will prioritize the probe on the snail pace of internet in the country when Congress resumes session on Jan. 18.

The slow connectivity severely affects some business establishment who are internet dependent like business process outsourcing (BPO).

This after ABAKADA Party-list Rep, Jonathan dela Cruz received again complaints that internet became very slow, especially in the last Christmas and New Year celebration.

He wants an explanation from telecommunication companies on the implementation of the fair use policy (FUP) on Internet users in the country, which he described as “so slow and so far behind.”

In House Resolution 2344, Dela Cruz urged the House panel to investigate the impact of slow and expensive Internet connection to consumers and businesses.

The veteran lawmaker said the country is lagging behind its Asian neighbors and that it is the third to lowest in terms of connection speed, just behind Vietnam.

According to Dela Cruz, the PLDT group has 72.5 million subscribers composed of 24.7 million Smart subscribers, 31.9 million Talk and Text subscribers and Digitel/Sun subscribers with 15.6 million.

Globe has 36.5 million subscribers composed of 34.5 million Globe and TM prepaid subscribers and 1.98 million postpaid subscribers.

“Despite the unprecedented avalanche of ICT users, we have yet to have a truly world-class ICT service infrastructure as evidenced by pour abysmal internet speed,” Dela Cruz said.

Recent study shows that the country’s actual speed never reaches the advertised speed; speed performance declined for all Internet Service Providers year after year and Filipino Internet subscribers pay more for less every year.

The study said the country’s Internet is run by two major operators who control infrastructure and pricing. It also suggested that the government should encourage more competition in the market and invest in more infrastructures.

Only 37 percent of Filipinos had Internet connectivity in 2013, according to a recent United Nations report. Among the 190 countries evaluated, the Philippines ranked 110th.

The Philippines ranks 176th out of 202 countries worldwide. The average broadband download speed is 23.3 Mbps, nearly eight times faster than the Philippines.

The demand increases during the holidays but telcos have done nothing to improve their services despite charging more that they give to their subscribers,

It is high time, Dela Cruz added that the government need to open the market of telcos who can deliver better services to forced existing telcos to upgrade their system. PNA/