THE Philippines can be considered a “digital desert” as it landed on 74th place out of the 78 countries ranked for the quality of 4G Internet coverage this year by the National Infrastructure Commission of the United Kingdom.
According to the report, the Philippines only bested Ireland, Ecuador, Lebanon and Sri Lanka which landed on 75th, 76th, 77th and 78th places respectively.
On the other hand, South Korea, Japan, Lithuania, Hong Kong, Netherlands, Singapore, Norway, Kuwait, Sweden and the United States occupied the top ten world rankings in 4G Internet connection and cellular phone coverage. The UK landed on the 54th spot.
The state of Philippine 4G Internet coverage status, which is the slowest in the Southeast Asian region, is further made lamentable by the fact that according to the UK’s NIC report, 5G internet coverage, an ultra-fast and ultra-reliable technology with the potential to change people’s lives is already available.
The experts noted that as of 2014, the Philippines has an average speed of 3.6 Mbps compared to Singapore (61 Mbps), Thailand (17.7 Mbps), Vietnam (13.1 Mbps), Cambodia (5.7 Mbps), Malaysia (5.5 Mbps), Brunei (4.9 Mbps), Myanmar (4.9 Mbps), Laos (4.0 Mbps), and Indonesia (4.1 Mbps). They said the poor state of Philippine Internet connection can be blamed on lack of central organization that heads the development of Information and Communication Technology.
Moreover, the experts warned that for the Philippines to remain digitally competitive, the government must bring the Internet and cellular phone connections up to speed as soon as possible.