President Rodrigo Duterte is making good on his promise while he was campaigning for the highest position in the land, threatening the two incumbent telcos with competition from China if they do not fix their internet services.
“If you do not do it right, you wait, I’m going to China,” he said, during the National Banana Congress in Davao City on Friday.
“I’ll open up everything for competition. Buksan ko na lang lahat (I will open up everything),” he added.
The Philippines has been consistently at the back of the pack in terms of Internet speeds and quality of service for many years running, according to independent research firms.
The government is already looking for ways to solve the Philippines’ Internet woes. Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar detailed some of the steps that they would be taking to alleviate the issue, suggested by Rudy Salalima, the head of the newly created Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).
“Iyong solusyon na inilatag ni Secretary Rudy Salalima ay either magtayo iyong gobyerno ng sarili niyang telco; number two, ay punan ng gobyerno iyong mga lugar na mahina or walang presence ng mga cell sites or fiber optics. At pangatlo, ay kumuha talaga ng—magpa-bid out para sa third player at papasukin talaga para mas lalong maging vibrant iyong kompetisyon,” Andanar said during an interview with radio dzBB.
San Miguel Corporation earlier tried to establish a third telco with the help of Australia firm Telstra. Unfortunately talks with Telstra did not bear fruit, and in the end San Miguel was forced to abandon both their substantial telco assets as well as their hold on the highly lucrative 700MHz spectrum.