Law to improve PH internet connectivity pushed

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 4) — An information and communications technology expert urged lawmakers to pass legislation that would help improve internet connectivity in the country.

Speaking to CNN Philippines' The Final Word, ICT expert Grace Mirandilla-Santos said the government should not focus solely on improving internet speed.

The Philippines' internet speeds for mobile and broadband have both improved since last year, according to Ookla - a company that provides internet testing, data, and analysis.

But Santos said coverage is equally important.

"Aside from having speed as a measure of success of improvement, we have to ask ourselves, is work from home more accessible to more people? Is online learning accessed more and more by students? Because otherwise, we cannot say we have actually improved because it is just the speed," she pointed out.

Santos said connectivity options should not be focused only in the National Capital Region, or else other regions will be left behind.

She added that all parts of the country - even rural areas - should be given enough service provider options to be able to ensure there will be better connectivity among communities.

Santos explained that the pending Open Access in Data Transmission bill will help do so, by lowering barriers to entry - allowing more service providers to come in and build infrastructure in rural, unserved areas.

Aside from this, improving internet connectivity will also help boost the government's COVID-19 response since the internet is vital to implementing services like telemedicine and contact tracing, she said.