The Prevalent Case of a Crappy Internet

I always remember how disappointed I tend to be during the rainy season, when my Internet connection would go on and off at ten-minute intervals, and when my connection does shut down totally, how technicians arrive at three days minimum. Those are the good old days, and, considering that the wet season is just around the corner, I just don’t feel like thinking about it. Thankfully, I am not alone in my sentiments.

A recent survey conducted in the Philippines reiterated an ever-present truth; Internet connection in the Philippines kind of sucks. The study was conducted by Ericsson’s ConsumerLab in an attempt to understand consumer sentiment towards the telephone companies (telcos).

In the study conducted between 2010 and 2011, ConsumerLab found that 88 percent of those surveyed think quality of service is one of the key areas of improvement for Internet in the Philippines, followed by customer care (47 percent) and billing concerns (5 percent).

(Source: Link)

It is interesting to note that many Filipinos are even willing to pay more just for a guarantee of better Internet quality.

“At least a third of the population are willing to pay for better quality,” said Vishnu Singh, head of ConumerLab for Ericsson Southeast Asia and Oceania. “So there’s actually an opportunity [for providers] by offering services based on a segmented approach.”

Furthermore, Singh noted the necessity of understanding the nature of the demand.

To harness this demand, Singh said providers must have a “deeper understanding of their customers’ changing demands” and to deliver on the expectations of consumers.

The article also stated that mobile Internet services suffer the worst in the Philippines, given some factors such as “signal strength, interferences, and location that tend to affect the quality of the connection.”

However, telcos responded by defending themselves against growing consumer dissatisfaction, stating that some “abusers” compromise Internet quality, forcing them to resort to inconvenient measures.

Telcos, on the other hand, argued that a small minority of users is actually “abusing” their subscription, which tend to affect the overall network quality, leading to the introduction of industry practices such as data caps and fair usage policies.

One telco executive went as far as to declare that their firm’s unlimited data offerings would have to end eventually, citing smaller margins on unlimited data amid higher capital investments required to maintain the infrastructure.

Telcos respond to consumer dissatisfaction by dissatisfying them even further, trying to justify their shortcomings while doing next to nothing to improve their services to cater to growing demand, which is perfectly normal, given how much of the world’s economies are tied to information technology. Given the current economic paradigm, won’t you expect telcos to consider bettering their services instead of coming up with a pretty lame excuse like subscription abusers to justify more inconvenience for everyone.

Why, fairly recent news from Yahoo! shows just how mediocre our Internet quality is.

The Philippines, with an average Web page loading speed on desktops of 15.4 seconds, was named the world’s second slowest behind Indonesia’s 20.3 seconds, said a Bloomberg report which cited Google’s study.

(Source: Link)

Given how Filipinos are becoming more and more dependent on information technology, it might come as a wonder how telcos seem unprepared for nothing but a normal increase in demand for better quality of service, offering a whole bunch of alibis and no real plans that can make customers happy. It seems that the incentive to profit by serving consumer interest is fading, as far as telcos are concerned.

In the midst of these events, one could say that the telcos’ big men are ignorant, but I’m more inclined to think that they’re complacent. It is possible that they are actually okay with whatever happens to the telecommunications industry, and that they find no need to robustly tackle the issue, which will demand more of their time and capital. After all, why work your butt off, when you and a few other companies are the only ones running the gig?

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About Arche

I’m just throwing ideas around. I also love coffee.

Post Author: Arche

I’m just throwing ideas around. I also love coffee.

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55 Comments on "The Prevalent Case of a Crappy Internet"

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Peter Vandever
Guest

I actually disagree with this study and I have inside information to know why it is not true.

The truth is: you get what you pay for.

I had a 15mbps connection at my condo in Makati and I never had a problem.

Mirror Force
Guest

You never had a problem with your internet connection? o_o

We envy you, man.

We all do. :'(

*sniff*

Peter Vandever
Guest

Allow me to disclose: I am the former CTO of Smart. I know the inside but the reality is the Philippines has the best connection in Asia Pacific and we are the leader of technology. Makati is the Silicon Valley of Asia.

The problem is once you get outside Makati, the connection is greatly degraded.

D-ohms
Guest

Well then that is the problem. Internet service with such speeds are only available in Makati, the business central in the Philippines or in other rich parts of the country.

And easy for you to say since you’re a former CTO of Smart.

Cherry Blossom
Guest

“…the reality is the Philippines has the best connection in Asia Pacific and we are the leader of technology.”

http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=asia+internet+speeds+by+country

Philippines is at #33 (as of this posting) so I don’t know about what reality you are talking about.

Peter Vandever
Guest

I have done the research. In Oceania, the Philippines is the leader by far. The closest to it would be New Zealand.

I have traveled the whole Pacific region and while Makati has its’ problem, it is the most devoloped of all the Pacific cities.

Netornit
Guest

Makati is lucky to have quality internet service, I have lived there for a year so I can attest to that.

Unfortunately, Makati is not the entire Philippines. It is illogical to state the Philippines has one of the best internet services in Asia just because one of its “wealthier cities” has good internet connection.

Impaler Triumphant
Guest

Business Implications of Crappy Internet Services in Makati: isn’t Smart worried that they would lose a large residential customer base? But oh, yeah, I think you have stats and computations. Sabagay nga naman: sa Makati, panatag, elsewhere, hindi na. Kasi sa Makati, panatag ang Smart na magbabayad ang mga kumpanya na nag-aavail ng net, samantala sa mga residential areas elsewhere, heh, may mga di nagbabayad ng bills dyan.

17Sphynx17
Guest
I dont understand why a lot of people are complaining? Would you rather have a trade-off that has data caps? I certainly wouldn’t. I would rather have a stable so-so internet speed (#33) as mentioned, with no data cap. I mean if you compare it, #33 among how many countries? When I went to Libya 2 years ago, the hotel I stayed with only had a 256kbps dial up connection in their business center. Even yahoo messenger was lagging for crying out loud. You put things in perspective. Do you really that much speed in your life? I would understand… Read more »
Chorvaqueen
Guest

Most people bitching about that are the ones who torrent their shit 24/7.

BlueStreak
Guest

it would be best to say that Makati is “treated best” in concern with internet connection. Why not then the whole country(or wherever the connection can be established)get the share of having a good connection. Indeed this statement:

“Given the current economic paradigm, won’t you expect telcos to consider bettering their services instead of coming up with a pretty lame excuse like subscription abusers to justify more inconvenience for everyone.”

Is but an excuse to treat subscribers unfairly and with mediocrity and paying them at a premium price.

Peter Vandever
Guest

That would have to do with the wiring. Much of the rural communities have to run off GSM technology which is normally about 3.5mbps on their smart phones.

some good reading.

http://petervandever.com/2012/05/why-the-internet-must-be-fixed-in-samoa-and-soon/

nelson ongpauco
Guest

depende sa alambre an ginamit sa linya ng internet merong telephone wire na gawa sa copper at meron namang fiber optic wire ang fiber optic ay maganda lalo nat bago pa ang alambre dahil sa makati ang mga bagong building ay bago ang alambre sa ibang lugar ay luma at marami ng duktong .kaya masama ang koneksion …

17Sphynx17
Guest
Quite frankly, I never understood what this need for more speed is for residential users. I mean what will you really use it for? I used to run of 512kbps, upgraded to 768kbps, then eventually 1.5mbps. My average is usually floating around 1.0mbps. If you are complaining that you don’t get the full 1.5mbps you thought you get, you should have read more. It says speeds upto, but never did it state it was fixed. This would need to be a business line. What is the benefit of the additional kbps to my connection? Well, basically, I don’t have to… Read more »
Danidanado
Guest
Yup. Smart is as about as smart as a bag of hammers. My asawa and I signed up two weeks ago. The same day they showed up and installed an antenna and it worked great! We were so happy and pleased I was ready to tell everybody how prompt and efficient they were. Ya, right. Two hours after they left the connection was lost. I got on the phone (globe) and called them. After going through all the press this button for this and this button for that it took four minutes to talk to service rep. He made me… Read more »
tata
Guest

i pay for 3.6mbps and i have only 0.4 What did you say?my friend there is no internet in the philippines over 2.mbps ,where did you found the 15?propably in your dreams.propably you working there and you are a scammer i suppose

Mark Palmer
Guest

This is a lie. Plain and simple.

Teabag Deluxe
Guest
“Telcos, on the other hand, argued that a small minority of users is actually “abusing” their subscription, which tend to affect the overall network quality, leading to the introduction of industry practices such as data caps and fair usage policies. One telco executive went as far as to declare that their firm’s unlimited data offerings would have to end eventually, citing smaller margins on unlimited data amid higher capital investments required to maintain the infrastructure.” Where have I heard this before… Oh yeah! It was the same reason AT&T, Verizon, Comcast etc. used when they slapped data caps while jacking… Read more »
Peter Vandever
Guest

What is the data cap in the United States for data? What is the fair usage law?

Don
Guest
Hello Peter Vandever I live in HK, Quezon city, and Baguio, at different intervals. In HK, I can consistently access the internet through a Samsung mini-Galaxy in the MTR, all the way underground. Can’t say the same for Makati or Queazon City, where using a laptop and surfing WiFi in those cities is a hit-or-miss affair, and the hit is just about 15-20 seconds. In Baguio City, perhaps it gets marginally better than Metro Manila thanks to the terrain, but Wi-Fi still sucks unless you actually run a call center. DSL is a hit/miss thing too, understandably subject to weather,… Read more »
nelson ongpauco
Guest

what happen to your internet connection on the rainy season and storm also on the winter season when they have snow storm does your internet service work..???the wind will move the satellite dish and connection will be lost. right,, all internet are all the same ..

Don
Guest

Unlike the Philippines, Sat dishes are installed very robustly, so nobody loses connectivity due to wind. Unless the weather actually interrupts power supply, in Korea the connectivity is consistent.

Same in HK, internet still strong despite typhoon because Wifi is strong, no need for sat dish.

Ever tried getting internet in the LRT/MRT while the train is moving? I got those in HK and Korea. In Manila, you can’t get any WiFi in the LRT/MRT stations, and connectivity is also poor.

So unless you have a call center in Philippines, internet in Philippines really sucks.

17Sphynx17
Guest
If you have ever used a wireless extender/signal repeater, this would allow you to obtain the connection as you move through the building or in your case the HK for the wifi. Eventhough you may change the extender you are connecting to, the signal is the same as it is being repeated by the extender. Why don’t our LRT’s have Wifi? Well, my question is do you absolutely need it given that at present the government is losing money in subsidizing the fares alone without such a convenience? I am a smartphone user but I don’t need internet everywhere I… Read more »
Don
Guest
I actually have a proper reason for having tyhe internet in my pocket, and that pretty much c concerns tracking the progress of the stock market which is how money is circulated, and make a small contribution to the national coffers. No, I don’t need videos of naked chicks or even mp3s. I just want to keep track of how far my money goes. HK government realizes that people who want to keep track of their money also travel in trains, s they made it a good point to put WiFi extenders. PH government doesn’t care what happens to your… Read more »
Sphynx
Guest
then i would suggest that the method of blocking common internet users from non essential ‘tasks’ not beable to access this so-called free internet as they really are not doing anything productive with what you are requesting and are the type to abuse. i just recently found out you can now download torrent files through a smartphone. my reaction was ‘really?!’ so you can already see where this could lead, abuse. i understand your need then as it is the sensible request not the typical users nowadays who are just being unproductive and demanding. remember, not only torrent downloaders for… Read more »
Don
Guest

And hence it goes to how much are people willing to shell out for better internet connection, and is the private sector willing to provide it? I won’t mind paying more for better internet, if it means better connectivity to stuff that matters. Words like “abuse” and “unnecessary” really are beside the point. Let cost be the determining issue, not end-user habits. Besides, internet use at home goes to how parents discipline their children.

17Sphynx17
Guest
@Don You really can’t blame the parents because they most were caught off guard by the IT Change. Heck, when I was still in high school, I was the one who setup parental controls and website blocks to our only home pc so my younger brothers wouldn’t resort to playing late into the night. You see what I mean? We are at a point in time where in the generation that was exposed to the media known as internet could not be properly regulated by parents because it was alien to them. And those children who are now adults are… Read more »
17Sphynx17
Guest

And in case you may not know, a basic wifi connection of a laptop is usually at 54mbps, so even limiting it to 256 kbps means they can really maximize the available bandwidth you give each device even if you limit it.

Hyden Toro
Guest

This is the trouble on the protectionist clause in our Constitution. If Filipino internet services have no competitor. They will never improve their services. Internet is still in the infant stages. You can use Satellite Disc Internet. It’s better. Signals received by a Satellite Disc from outer space Satellite, like GPS…

17Sphynx17
Guest
Actually I beg to differ. Any wireless technology can be obstructed by weather/terrain. If you opt for Satellite connection, your satellite dish to satellite connection would be very fast, however, it would still need to connect to a landbased ISP. As such, the bottle neck inland still exists. Secondly, connection to the satellite is affected by terrain, weather and positioning. If by any chance, the satellite were to move in position or obstructed, then quality is degraded or connection is lost. Some actually say that satellite connections are not as efficient. Kind of like using a satellite phone to get… Read more »
Hyden Toro
Guest

There is already an advanced satellite internet system in the U.S. What you are telling me , are resolved already by the new models…Remember the Rover on Planet Mars, sending clear pictures to Planet Earth?

Sphynx
Guest
you maybe losing sight of something here. what you mentioned was a satellite to satellite connection here. meaning from mars rover to its satelittle then beam to earth bound satellite down to nasa or some space agency to receive the data. assuming you had say a home or office with satellite based internet. true, your maximum bandwidth can reach above a hundred mbps, but that is not really achieved. because as you request for the data from the orbitting satellite, it is beamed back down to the land based infrastructure, and of course limited by the land based capacity. unless… Read more »
Sphynx
Guest

if what you are saying is also true, then it should be very difficult to execute ddos attack or denial of service attacks because you are assuming bandwidth wont be limit just because you have a satellite based connection to the internet.

remember, all server farms are land based.

17Sphynx17
Guest
I still stand by the fact that we have the options already at our disposal with regards to internet service. Are we as fast as first world countries? Of course not. But are we really that bad? How have you fared in speedtest.net? For comparisons sake, I will refer you to the old dial up era. How fast did we use to connect to the net? I remember 28.8kbps back in the mid 90s. I was using dialup until the days of the MMORPG Ragnarok Online when it was a hit. @2003/04 I think, my max speed then was 56kbps… Read more »
Arche
Guest
I went through the same journey with you (using dial-up, availing upgrades, etc.), and I pretty much agree with your observations. The main problem I have raised here is the availability of quality service. Even if a good Internet connection exists here, making it accessible to Filipinos is another issue, something telcos are not so enthusiastic in solving. A country where a good Internet connection exists in a few places will have a dismal performance in average. Of course there’s the argument of doing your very best to get the best connection. But should it always be that way? It… Read more »
17Sphynx17
Guest
Hmm, well I actually believe it is very heavy in terms of costs to develop wired infrastructure throughout the whole of the Philippines. I wish it were better but at the same time I try to consider certain facts. At present, what is the incentive to upgrade the infrastructure? Assuming we have a densely populated area, what is the trade off? Do we end up getting more subscribers to get the return on the investment which we are plunking down now? Granted, in Metro Manila, we have highly dense areas, but not all of them will avail of the services.… Read more »
17Sphynx17
Guest
As for quality service, I really admire BayanTel service up to now. I have been a loyal DSL surscriber since 2004/2005 and I never looked back. I haven’t tried Destiny (although in the past I heard horror stories from a friend of mine), PLDT DSL (just sucks), ZPDee or Globe Broadband. I don’t know if there are any other wired ISP companies out there though. Wirelss is really difficult to assess. Weather affects it and your position when you try to connect. The deeper you are inside a building, the weaker the signal gets. And if you are surrounded by… Read more »
Arche
Guest
Well, I really appreciate your efforts to help me (so thank you very much!), but I’m not in particular in dire need of a better service (but, as I’ve said, semi-passive hunt). Yes, I believe my ISP can do better, but I’m not on the brink of desperation just yet. This is my situation, and my situation alone. Also, note that this article is not my personal rant, but a reminder that telcos must satisfy their customers, since consumers explicitly voice out their dissatisfaction. This article is a reminder that telcos should make it easier for Filipinos to get access… Read more »
17Sphynx17
Guest
Hi Arche, I know it is not really a rant by you but because you want everyone to have better service. I have mentioned my satisfied experience with my ISP for what I pay for it. I know telcos can provide better and faster service but here is how it will be expounded. What would be the cost to replace the wired internet connection, cable/internet, assuming the old wires are the cause of the intermittent connection? If not that cost, upgrading the server to accomodate more ports/connections? For the case of the wireless, upgrading or installing additional cellsites or towers… Read more »
Arche
Guest
“Now, why I am mentioning this is, if they upgraded these equipment, how can they re-coup the costs? Is it expected that there subscriber base would increase? Where do we start?” Everything you said about costs can be answered by my previous explanation: First, you ensure the loyalty of your current subscribers. Second, by making your quality service more accessible to Filipinos, more Filipinos can be attracted to subscription. But the most important is that you meet the demand of our information technology-oriented global economy. If your services cater to the demands of major companies highly dependent on telecommunications, then… Read more »
17Sphynx17
Guest
I am not saying you are entirely wrong but hear me out a bit on this point on companies needing better ISPs. The ISPs can provide what the company (meaning for business) needs as there is evidence of the existence of VOIP based trades like call centers. You just need to know what your business needs in order for the company/business to request the proper bandwidth to be installed or done right. An example of which was last year PPSL which had Starcraft 2 and video streaming to cater to fans outside of the Philippines. The ISP could have provided… Read more »
17Sphynx17
Guest
Oh and for people who are not aware. Even if you have a say 2mbps connection, you usually have 2mbps downspeed, and a 1mbps upspeed. Based on my experience, the bandwidth you are paying for is mostly for the download speed, while in the upload bandwidth, my experience is it is usually half of that. Which is normal. There is a thing called up and down speed for those who don’t know. And for people who are uploading streamed video like CCTV footage to a port forwarded fixed ISP connection, you need to determine your data feeds first before you… Read more »
Arche
Guest
I’m really starting to think that we’re sailing at different rivers. Still, I shall address your response. I do possess knowledge about the Starcraft 2 incident and the other things you’ve mentioned, and I acknowledge the legitimacy of your observations. However, that’s not the only thing I’m talking about. The course of our discussion has produced two issues: 1. Quality of service 2. Accessibility of service I have stated my case well about these two issues. As to quality, it’s not just about what existing businesses can do to get a good Internet connection. I am also talking about making… Read more »
Arche
Guest

I’m not discouraging you to inform GRP readers about what they can do to make the best of what we have, per se. That’s very noble of you, actually.

I’m just saying that while I recognize these ideas, they do not really address what I’m trying to say:

The supply must exert efforts to reach the demand. It must be a give-and-take situation. I hope I’ve made this clear enough.

17Sphynx17
Guest

Thanks Arche. =)

I think I am just overlapping on points rather than exactly meeting up with your total discussion.

I appreciate the time and the effort of your replies.

Just find that some people are actually not looking at the “crappy internet” issue correctly and taking it too general. Like complaining of download speeds only to find out that they availed of a very slow broadband connection like 256/512kbps. Just saying that sometimes, the problem is actually at the demand end.

Cheers!

Arche
Guest

Thank you too, 17Sphynx17! Believe me when I say, I did enjoy this discussion.

I do not deny the fact that irrational consumers exist, people who are too lazy to solve their own problems. My article is simply for those who simply want better products (and who are willing to cooperate), and aimed towards the telcos executives who can really do something about it.

Cheers, indeed! Have a nice day. 🙂

Toinks
Guest

I am not familiar with the technical details of internet connections. But I can attest that the Philippines has by far the worst internet connection ever.

China, Malaysia, Thailand, and even freakin’ Cambodia – I stayed at these places for months on end and ever had a single problem.

But here in the Philippines, I’ve gone through 4 providers: Bayantel, Smart, Sun, and Globe. None of them offered quality connection or good customer service. Smart is the worst of the bunch. Their call centers are crappy and useless.

IrisDesu
Guest

The problem is that ISP’s in the Philippines focuses only on income rather that the actual service. As long as people are unaware of the capabilities of internet connections in the Philippines, they will keep advertising passable speeds and low reliability rates with very expensive monthly subscriptions.

chime gochan
Guest

Yeah, our internet connection in the Philippines is almost at snail’s pace. Crappy internet.

But I do not mind, though… What I HATE is the prevalence of crappy ideas on the internet like the trollface and his cohort memes… Such a waste of time.

palawena
Guest
Yup…. crapy internet talaga! I live in palawan, far far far from makati!!!! here, you must live in puerto princesa city just to get a passable connection… outside the city you will be lucky to have a 3G signal, more likely it will be gprs! and in many places there is no signal at all, meaning even NO TELEPHON!! These telecom companies make huge profits (internet is so expensive compare to the rest of the world for an awful service) and they don’t care about their customers. So in places like Palawan, why to bother even trying to provide just… Read more »
PinoyHatesPinas
Guest

Philippines is hopeless!

globe/smart bypassed
Guest

smart/globe customers always right ass hole! we are paying you to do your service.. customer has the right to complain about the service if not satisfy!

dintern
Guest

I’m okay with a 3-5Mbps connection (no bandwidth cap) for 1k a month..

Mm
Guest

Ang nakakainis lang kasi malas na di-disconnect ang net. Dun sa place ng gf ko sa may Laguna if hindi nadisisconnect, ilang araw wala talagang internet, minsan umaabot ng mahigit isang linggo. Then maguupload lang siya or download ng 20mb vid (we often send videos to each other) aabutin ng what? 20mins-30mins?

Sobrang walang kwenta pa ng customer service mapa Globe, Smart, PLDT, Sky Cable. Hindi naman nakakatulong.

Ipagpalagay na natin na sige okay na yung netspeed since okay naman sa skype. Kaya lang hindi stable. Umulan lang wala na agad internet? Nakakaloko lang e.

Albert
Guest
@17Sphynx17, all I read in your post are excuses. Some of the people making their point have already experienced better service (actually, waaay better!). It is not the problem of the consumer that the telcos has crappy lines, high upgrade cost, or non-weather-proof connections. All the consumers are asking is consistent and reliable internet connection. They all know the speeds that they paid for, however, 90% of the time the speed is at the bottom lowest guaranteed speed. The constant disconnections are also inexcusable, it is unfair trade. I am living in another country and paying only P600 for 4Mbps/… Read more »
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