Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Out of Reach: Broadband in the PH

According to a report by Australian research firm Ovum, the Philippines has the cheapest price for broadband access among 19 emerging countries surveyed. However despite its "cheapness", broadband still remains completely out of reach for the majority of the population. (Read story here.)

Broadband Internet access is a high data rate connection to the Internet at 256 kbit/s or greater, without the use of a telephone line, as contrasted to dial-up which is limited to a bitrate of about 60 kbit/s and require the dedicated use of a telephone line. In the country, broadband is usually available to consumers through cable and DSL. Broadband providers in the country include: (Source: Wikipedia)
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While the cost "may seem" affordable, there are a lot of other factors that need to be taken in consideration. First, this is just the basic cost at the basic speed, which is on the average around 512Mbps. If you want anything greater than that, you have to pay the price. Second, the price represent only the monthly service fee. The subscriber will have to pay for the additional hardware he will avail of such as the modem or a wireless router or worse "installation fees". Third, most of these plans have a lock-in period of a minimum of one year, which is subject to fees if terminated sooner. Fourth, as with other post paid plans, there is usually a one month advance payment required. Fifth, based on experience, customer service sucks. Not so much cost friendly when you think about it.

Another consideration is that most of these companies are found in the highly urbanized cities, for the obvious reason that this is where the money is! rural or provincial areas do not have the infrastructures to support broadband development. Thus broadband access is concentrated on the urbanites and the upper-middle class members of society who can afford to pay such monthly fees, which is just a tiny percentage in the 101,833,938 million people in the country. And there are those who'd rather go to malls or coffee shops than blow a thousand bucks for slow connections and crappy customer service. :)

Entry No. 9
Soleil Flores

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