State of Internet
Will the Philippines soon find itself with improved internet service? This question came about after rival telco companies Philippine Long Distance Telephone Corp. (PLDT) and Globe Telecom both launched new broadband plans that may reach as fast as 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps), touted as the fastest fiber connection speed in the country.

PLDT initially announced the offering last 20 October under PLDT HOME Fibr starting at PhP 1,899 and available in about 1,600 villages including Valle Verde 1-6, Forbes Park, Dasmarinas Village, and Ayala Alabang. PLDT said the plans come with free access to iflix, Fox International Channels, Cignal TV, and Spinnr.

Last 22 October, Globe followed suit and announced its new suite of broadband plans under its Globe Platinum Broadband Plans. These include 50 Megabits per second (Mbps) for PhP 2,499; 100 Mbps for PhP 3,499; 200 Mbps for PhP 4,499; 500 Mbps for PhP 7,499; and 1 Gbps for PhP 9,499. Globe said all of the plans are bundled with unlimited data, with no data cap and free access to Spotify, NBA League Pass, and HOOQ.

Globe will also similarly roll-out their high-end broadband plans in select villages in the country.

A recent "State of the Internet" report on Asia Pacific done by Akamai, a cloud data network specializing in monitoring internet traffic in real time, shows the Philippines to have the third lowest average connection speed in the region—2.8 Mbps for the first quarter of 2015—much lower than the global average connection speed, which is 5 Mbps. Moreover, the Philippines also ranked fourth in terms of lowest peak connection speed, with 20.3 Mbps—far from the global average of 29.1 Mbps.

Yet despite being one of the slowest, internet in the Philippines is one of the most expensive, with a monthly average cost of US$ 18.19 (PhP 848.65) per Mbps—over three times the average global cost of US$ 5.21 (PhP 243.07) — ranking 59th in subscription cost at US$ 31.55 (PhP 1,471.97). Indeed, internet service in the Philippines is nearly as expensive as 1 Gbps fiber optic connection in Singapore, which is only US$ 36.01 (PhP 1,680) a month.