The Real Reason Internet Access in PH is Slow and Expensive
Here’s one thing that the Philippine media won’t tell you why Internet access in the country is still crappy, slow and expensive. It’s because of our protectionism and restrictive economic policies that repel or scare foreign investors and benefit only the oligarchs, cronies and politically connected corporatists.
The country’s media and so-called intellectuals stay mum on this issue, because they’re either politically clueless or they simply want to keep the people blissfully ignorant.
When it comes to this country’s economic prison, the only thing to blame is our protectionist, semi-socialist Constitution that is undoubtedly out of touch of economic and political reality.
Globalization, which is the ultimate, logical result of technological development and of many countries’ free market reforms and openness to global trade, is something that the country’s constitutional framers ignorantly missed in 1986. Those who drafted the New Charter, who were undeniably highly schooled (not educated, because there’s a big difference between schooling and education), probably thought people in the future (which is today) would be as stupid and naive as they believed they were in the 1980s.
Indeed, the framers were as ignorant about technology and global business as the protectionist socialists today.
Now look at the illustration below that shows how economically open countries provide benefits to their people in terms of fast and less expensive Internet access.
- Source: ITIF
That simply shows the high price of our restrictive policies and protectionism. It hurts every common tao in the Failippines, and it only benefits the protected oligarchs and cronies.
Protectionism leads to oligarchs and cronies cornering the country’s wealth. It means lack of competition, and lack of competition has painful economic costs.
This makes me think those who drafted the Constitution should be publicly executed for crimes against Filipinos.
In the Philippines, you need to pay $25 per month to have a 1mbps internet connection (according to Internet sources). There’s this company (Pinoy Telekom) that charges P35 per day for 2 and 5mbps. That’s P1050 per month or $26.
Yes, Internet access here is as slow as our economy. It seems that it cannot go further than what a global economy requires due to our protectionism and restrictions. We’re indeed forever confined in an economic prison.
From this source:
Filipinos may boast of being in the world’s social network hub, but access to the Internet remains low in the Philippines compared to other countries, a recent United Nations (UN) report showed.
Of the total Filipino Internet users, 75 percent accessed social networks in 2011, the UN Broadband Commission for Digital Development said in its report dubbed the “State of Broadband 2012.”
The Philippines also tops the global average of 60 percent social network penetration, even if only 29 percent of Filipinos are able to use the Internet as of 2011.
The country ranked 100th out of 177 in terms of Internet access either through fixed or mobile connections, the report said.
As of last year, there was an average of 1.9 fixed Internet connections per 100 people in the Philippines.
The country ranked 101st in this indicator, lagging behind Singapore 25.5; Malaysia, 7.4; and Vietnam, 4.3.
South Korea has one of the fastest and cheapest internet services because of free market competition. But why is South Korea’s Internet faster and cheaper than broadband connections in the Philippines and even in the United States? The answer is: It’s because of free market competition.
From this CNN article:
Countries with fast, cheap Internet connections tend to have more competition.
In the U.S., competition among companies that provide broadband connections is relatively slim. Most people choose between a cable company and a telephone company when they sign up for Internet service.
In other countries, including South Korea, the choices are more varied.
While there isn’t good data on how many broadband carriers the average consumer has access to, “I think we can infer that South Korea has more [competition in broadband] than the United States,” Faris said. “In fact, most countries have more than the United States.”
Some academics, including Yochai Benkler, co-director of the Berkman Center, have criticized the U.S. government’s broadband plan as not doing enough to create the kind of competition that is present in other countries.
This is something that our lawmakers and political planners should think about.
However, it seems that the government’s solution to poverty issue is: Give the peasants more condoms!
In the Philippines, the strongest advocates of protectionism and economic regulations are the country’s so-called intellectuals and oligarchs/cronies. The countries oligarchs and cronies (these terms should not be used interchangeably, I believe) strongly support protectionism because they are its economic beneficiaries. On the other hand, the country’s so-called intellectuals, who are mostly leftists and statists, provide strong pseudo-intellectual ammunition to the country’s protectionist movement. Ironically, most of these intellectuals denounce the “rich” for dominating the country’s economic battlefield.