Is your mobile internet super slow? You can thank exclusive villages for that. Yup, those gated communities may just be one of the biggest problems when it comes to the almost agonizingly slow mobile internet in the capital, according to both Smart and Globe.
The problem is that many home owners in posh villages like McKinley Hills, Valle Verde, White Plains and Dasmarinas Village have outright refused the requests of both telcos to construct additional infrastructure within their villages because of perceived health concerns from cell towers.
Cellular towers are a vital link in the infrastructure of any telco, and the lack of them is one of the leading reasons why mobile internet in the metropolis is at its current sorry state.
Smart Communications Inc. provided the House of Representatives with a list of 100 villages and subdivisions in the Metro that opposed the construction of cell cites within their jurisdiction.
Among those in the list were Alabang Hills, Ayala Alabang, Greenmeadows, Loyola Grand Villas, Xavierville, Valle Verde, White Plains, St. Ignatius, McKinley Hills, One McKinley Place, BF Homes, Better Living, Bel-Air, Dasmarinas Village, Forbes Park, Multinational, Capitol Hills, Ferndale, Corinthian Gardens, Montgomery Place, North Greenhills, Horseshoe, Phil-Am Homes, Tierra Pura, Filinvest Homes, and Hillsborough.
The list was part of the additional documentary requirements submitted by Smart to the House of Representatives’ Committee on Legislative Franchises as the telco applied for the extension/renewal of its legislative franchise.
Smart’s operation of an Outdoor Distributed Antenna System (ODAS) in La Vista subdivision in Quezon City was also stopped by a cease and desist order from the city’s Department Of Building Official (DBO) on Feb. 2016. That cease and desist order was issued based on the complaints of individuals.
The government too, is a common stumbling block for both telcos when they try to beef up their infrastructure – telcos needed around 25 permits, on average to put up a single cell site, and those permits usually take around eight months for LGUs to process.
The result? The Philippines has the lowest number of unique physical cell sites in Asia, coming in at a whopping 15,000 cell sites. To put that in prespective, China has the highest number with 1.18 million cell sites, followed by India (450,000), Indonesia (76,477), Vietnam (55,000), Thailand (52,483), Pakistan (28,000), Bangladesh (27,000), and Malaysia (22,000).