Globe Telecom’s international connectivity capacity provides the leading telecommunications provider with the ability to activate more than 16 Terabits per second (Tbps), sufficient to service the bandwidth demand in the country and satisfy the market’s hunger for faster internet services. Globe seeks to correct the separate public pronouncements made by the DICT Undersecretary Eliseo Rio and BCDA President Vince Dizon who placed the industry’s combined capacity at 2 Tbps.
While Globe has enough capacity to provide world class internet service, right-of-way access and unreasonable permit issues hamper the connectivity of many Filipinos.
“Our biggest hurdle in delivering consistently good internet (service) is the cumbersome number of permits and right of way issues that prevent us from building the last mile connectivity that would allow world class internet services to be enjoyed by the ordinary household or any person using a mobile phone. We have repeatedly called on the government to help address these issues that are prevalent at the local government level. Now with more people adopting to internet use much faster than the infrastructure can be built, then the problem gets exacerbated,” said Globe President & CEO Ernest Cu.
Out of the Globe Telecom’s current bandwidth capacity of more than 16 Tbps, the company’s “lit-up” capacity is less than 3 Tbps as the rest of the bandwidth remain unused owing to insufficient last mile infrastructure. Aside from permitting and right of way issues, other last mile concerns are the non-standardized tower fees across LGUs and real property tax challenges, explained Cu.
For years now, Globe has been struggling with permitting challenges at the local government levels. To build one cell site alone, the telco has to secure 25 permits from local government units. Processing the permits, meanwhile, takes at least eight months to complete. Laying down the fiber optic cable to reach homes is another tedious process altogether.
Constructing more cell sites is necessary for the Philippines to match and even surpass its Asian neighbors in cell site density, emphasized Cu. “We keep comparing ourselves with developed countries and our highly developed Asian neighbors on internet speed. What we don’t realize is that we are facing problems unique to the Philippines,” added Cu.
User-per-cell site density in the Philippines is 2,244, based on estimates of 21,000 total cell sites in the country against internet users of around 47.1 million. This statistic only underscores the urgency to build the necessary infrastructure that the country needs.
With the country growing in step with the rest of Asia, a digital economy will require more bandwidth and better internet services. It is imperative to look at the issues squarely with both government and industry working together to deliver a better internet experience.
Globe in recent years invested heavily in expanding its international cable connectivity, to stay ahead of the demand curve in terms of bandwidth capacity. This is in recognition of the growing demand for much-improved internet services in the country to fuel the engines of the booming economy.
Just last August, Globe launched the Southeast Asia-United States (SEA-US) cable system that has a design capacity of 20 Tbps capacity and directly links Asia to the US. The system boosts the speed of data transmission and improves the efficiency of connectivity, among other benefits to the public.