By Junex Doronio
September 6, 2021
LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu – With the opening of classes for the school year 2021-2022 expected on September 13, former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has asked the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to audit the performance of all telecommunication companies (telcos) to assess the quality of internet service in the country.
Marcos made the appeal following the result of a recent study by the National Research Council of the Philippines that showed over 90 percent of teachers from elementary, junior high school and senior high school struggled with internet connectivity in several regions, especially in rural areas.
“With online classes set to start in a few days, the NTC should conduct a thorough performance audit on our telcos so we can avoid a repeat of instances where teachers and students had to risk life and limb just to get a better internet connection,” Marcos stressed.
The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) headed by former Senator and now Secretary Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan II claimed that in July, the average download speeds for fixed broadband reached 71.17 megabits per second (Mbps) versus 66.55 Mbps in June.
It added that mobile internet download speeds saw a slight uptick from 32.84 Mbps in June to 33.69 Mbps in July, it added.
“While it is good to see our internet download speeds improve, the experience of teachers and students show it does not necessarily translate to better overall user experience,” he said in a statement. “It is high time for telcos to focus on improving parameters such as coverage and stability of connection which impacts day to day use,” Marcos pointed out.
Earlier, Education Secretary Leonor Briones admitted that stable internet connectivity is a continuing challenge for teachers nationwide.
She said the Department of Education (DepEd) was shifting to technology, and for it to be successful, it will need connectivity which is “very, very limited.”
“It is imperative for the NTC to push through with this performance audit to verify whether the objectives of the rollout plans submitted by these telcos are being achieved,” Marcos said. (AIMTVN)