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.

55 Comments on “The Prevalent Case of a Crappy Internet”

  1. 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.

    1. You never had a problem with your internet connection? o_o

      We envy you, man.

      We all do. :'(

      *sniff*

      1. 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.

        1. 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.

        2. 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.

        3. 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.

        4. 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.

      2. 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 businesses, especially IT related companies, but houses? Why? What for?

    2. 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.

      1. 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 …

      2. 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 wait for youtube or other video streaming services to load before I watch them.

        What else, well, my downloads of email attachments are slightly faster, but not a whole lot.

        So if you are clamoring for more just to download illegal torrent files (Software and Media), play MMORPGs 24/7 or Online games and just stream media continously, I think you are actually part of the problem.

        Have you give notice to when the internet connection is at its worst? I notice them during holidays and the summer months. Why? Because kids are at home most of the time and they play their mostly online games now or download a butt-load of files.

        Do I download mp3s or video files anymore? No I don’t. I have stopped long ago. I don’t even have a torrent downloader on my pc. I just stick to free cover mp3s offered online through links from youtube videos.

    3. 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 go through a bunch of systems check and then made an appointment for a techie to come and repair the canopy style antenna. The techie was late and in a hurry but it worked for about ten minutes after he left. I got on the phone again and the rep said they were doing upgrades to the tower. Ya right! I can seethe tower from here and saw no one up the tower. I rode my bike over to see if they were working at the base of the tower but saw no one. I asked the neighbors nearby the tower and they said no one had been there for weeks if not months. !st lie.

      I called again the next morning and they were oh so sorry! Ya right! They said that they were actually doing upgrades remotely. Ya right! Said that if I would kindly wait for 24 hours my connection would be would fixed. Ya right. So I called again but while calling my load ran out! So far, I’m out P499 for the hook-up, and P300 for the globe load. I bought a new sim card fro smart so not to have to pay for the calls.

      So far I’m out p499, P300, and P40 for the sim card and P300 for the smart load. I call again Again they say about the upgrades and please be patient for 24 hours. OK. After 24 hours I called again nd made an appointment for a techie to come and re align our antenna. Again the techie was late and I’m getting a little irate! But he fixed it in about 15 minutes and we had connection for about two hours. Si I called again and again they made go through all the nonsense of checking the systems on my computer. They then said a techie or rep would be calling to inform us when the techie would arrive to again re align our antenna. No call. After two days I called again with all the same procedures and BS. The rep said the techie would come by in the AM to find and fix the problem.

      By noon there was still no sign of the techie. I called again. Same BS as before. The techie finally did show up after 2PM. I said enough is enough, don’t bother trying to fix it just take down the antenna because we no long have any confidence in Smart. They refused saying they were only authorized to make repairs. If I did not want the repair sign the refusal form. I lost it! I said get lost then and closed the door.

      I called Smart today to cancel our subscription…..they said I have to go to one of their offices to unsubscribe and that I would have “TO PAY” P320 to cancel! I told the rep that according to our agreement if we were not satisfied with their service we could cancel without penalty with in two weeks. I also said that we would not under any circumstances go out of our way to take time and money to cancel.

      Before hanging up on the rep I said that if they don’t come and get their antenna it could very well just stay there as an ornament as that is all it’s good for! I said I don’t like being lied to and that they had cause unreasonable frustration and mental anguish as we have been without an internet connection for two weeks and felt like a prisoner under house arrest held incommunicado.

      In short, I kissed their butt for two weeks, now we are with Globe for two days and it’s cheaper, more reliable and faster than Smart ever was. It is an almost a certainty that the cause was the guide line cables that support the antenna that if improperly secured loosen and the antenna’s focus on the tower is off by a degree or two.

      PS. It’s now time for them to kiss my butt! I’ll make sure not to be home when they come for the antenna for a few times anyway. I wasted my hard earned cash for a worthless system, if all the revenge I can get is this then so be it, I will waste their time and money as long as I can.

      PSS. Thanks for the opportunity to rant!

    4. 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

  2. “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 up the price of their services. However, local services suck massive blue balls compared to American services, and they aren’t even the best in the world.

  3. 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, but slow enough to swear at the blameless neighbors.

    By far, the best internet I got was in Korea, where even rural areas had home satellite dishes and loading speed was no more than 5 seconds, *in a farming village*.

    So sorry, Peter Vandever. There is a reasonable justification to say that Philippine internet is crappy.

    1. 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 ..

      1. 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.

        1. 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 go. If you really need to check email, then I enable my GPRS which is an add-on to what is charged on me.

          But if the purpose of your “need” for internet is FB, Twitter, Youtube or the like then I think that is simply just wanting to be spoiled with free services.

          When I go to establishments like coffee houses or fast food restaurants, I do not expect free wifi to be available, but if there is then it is a welcome treat. But I do not demand it from the establishment.

        2. 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 money, apparently.

          Internet is needed not just for me to track money or for you to surf while you drink fake coffee. It is needed now to inform people. The stupid sort of internet user, of course, uses it to look for naked people. But hey, there actually are people who use it to improve themselves (like Korean farmers, for example, tracking crop futures to be better placed for a profit).

          And it’s not like the government has to be addled with more expenses just to make people net-smart. It’s more like the private sector would again rather make an excuse to be obsolescent instead of even thinking of making more profit on faster internet.

        3. 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 smartphones but also mmo games that require an internet connection in smart phones.

          that is not an easy task to regulate, monitor and limit if you know how to go about it. you need filters put in place over and above security protocols, access rights etc.

        4. 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.

        5. @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 only now becoming parents of children who are still young in an age where it is difficult to categorize discipling your kids or to point where they can claim “bantay bata” should intervene.

          Beside, you can avail of better internet, especially wired. If you really wanted to, get a fixed business line, your bandwidth will not spike though.

          Plus, you check what you can avail of in terms of service from your ISP.

          Bayantel has a 24/7 assistance clause. If they have not responded to your complaint within 24 hours of reporting, that day and until the time they respond is done, you can have those days reimbursed.

          I have done that mind you as I keep track of my calls, when the technician arrives etc.

          Do I use wireless connection? Yes, through my smartphone’s Globe 3g connection. Do I want it to be faster? Yes. Do I need it to be faster? Not really. Why? Because what I do is check emails and respond to them to the best of my abilities on the phone.

          If it ever it has an attachment, then I download it when I have a wired connection on a PC/Laptop or if my smartphone manages to get a wifi connection.

          These things, though important, can still wait. If it were really that important, it wouldn’t come in the form of internet communication, but through a call on your mobile phone.

          That is what I think should also be noted.

          Do I lose my 3g connection, yes of course. My response, oh well. When I get better reception, I will try retrieving data again. I mean, you have cell site deadspots as well and you expect full on connectivity of the internet over and above that? I think that is too much already.

          It is not an excuse when I use abuse really.

          See, assuming you had a 5mbps connection. If you had 20 guys just using yahoo messenger’s or skype’s type chat function then you are golden. If you have the same amount of people, using video call function, that 5 mbps connection doesn’t seem as good. Convert that to 5 of those guys or even just 2 guys having a downloading torrent with more than enough seeds and those 2 guys will eat up all or most of the bandwidth and having 2 enabled video calls may even be too much to handle for that single 5mbps connection.

          So I still stand that, there are instances of abuse that you should not disregard just because you think it is an excuse when clearly it happens.

          IP Blocking would not work as you don’t know the server or IP address/domain certain items are channeled through. String blocking might prevent other legitimate sites from loading just because they contain a similar string in the web address.

          MAC Filtering is hard to do given that MAC Address for each electronic device is different. So you may say what if you limited each user to a max of 256 kbps to each device, then my question is, what happens when you have 50 connected users? 50 x 256kbps = 12.8mbps = that is over and above a 10mbps connection and 256kbps may already be deemed slow by some depending on the webpage you are trying to launch.

        6. 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.

  4. 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…

    1. 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 internet, you get crappy speeds and pay a premium for it.

  5. 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?

    1. 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 everything is off loaded data from satellite only based connection, your bandwidth i reality is limited not only by the destinaton (consumer) but also from the source.

      assuming you are in korea with the best internet quality amd say the server farm of the data you are requested is in a location with moderate maximum bandwidth speeds only. then regardless of how fast you have at home, data will flow through based on the speed from the source then. distance also will play a factor as well as if there is transmission through non-wired mediums. this may affect ping times and affect data quality.

    2. 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.

  6. 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 paying a monthly unlimited rate of 450php to PLDT VIBE.

    I then moved to DSL to have 512kbps with a monthly rate of 800-900php. After two years, for the same plan, it was upgraded to 768 kbps. This year, I changed to 1.5mbps, with a monthly fee of 1500php.

    At the speed of 512kbps I was able to do what I needed to do in the internet. The upgrade to the 768kbps max bandwidth was given because it was the current plan and the old 512kbps was phased out.

    Why did I upgrade? Well, if you had 3 people simultaneously using the computer, the 768kbps, usually conks out for one of you.

    What am I trying to get at? Previously it was 400php for just 56kbps, what can you get at that rate now?

    Destiny cable offers a less than 500php internet plan. I also recall GlobeBroadband offering something similar with a data cap. So I don’t see what is wrong with this setup. The upgrades will come in due time. But you have to be after them for the right reasons. For work, for productivity. Not for streaming, torrent downloads and playing graphics intensive games.

    I do believe however than if your complaints are based on wireless technology, then I suggest you change your ISP to a wired one. But I would advise avoiding PLDT, as it is my experiencing that they provide bad support/service.

    PLDT/Smart may have the widest coverage, but that also means they have the most users. If your area is already filled with them, you are pretty much dead in the water trying to download/upload data. Better check if you convert it to Sun/Globe. As long as there is service, you can give it a go.

    1. 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 would be profitable for telcos to bridge the gap themselves… unless they have other incentives.

      “I do believe however than if your complaints are based on wireless technology, then I suggest you change your ISP to a wired one. But I would advise avoiding PLDT, as it is my experiencing that they provide bad support/service.”

      Yup, in fact, I do have a wired broadband connection installed. However, in the course of development of information technology, people’s attachment to technology is getting more and more sophisticated, which by extension puts more demand on convenient Internet sources; wireless and mobile technology. But then, as I’ve mentioned in my article, these very technologies suffer the most in our country.

      Thanks for the tips though. I’m actually conducting a semi-passive hunt for better ISPs.

      “The upgrades will come in due time. But you have to be after them for the right reasons. For work, for productivity. Not for streaming, torrent downloads and playing graphics intensive games.”

      It is not the duty of the market to dictate the purpose of upgrading. People have the right to do what they want with their upgrades, as long as they pay and abide by the law. This is a part of their freedom. Where there’s demand, it is only imperative for telcos to provide a corresponding supply. After all, they themselves with benefit from it.

      If we are really keen on becoming globally competitive, it’s time the telcos respond to the growing demand as quickly as possible to prove their efficiency.

      1. 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.

        How about giving a try to Sun’s Anti-Bill Shock plan. I previously tried to access the internet through my Sun Post Paid sim, and I got an averagely decent 10kb/s DL speed. I forgot the actual bandwidth I had connected to though. This was during Ondoy.

        And we also used a demo unit before in our Store for the dongle type connection. What surprised me was in the area, since we were one of the few people using the wireless dongle of sun, we had a download rate of 200kb/s, faster than our wired ISP.

        If you really want to opt for wireless connection in the area which you are staying the most, residence or place of work, I suggest you try all three ISPs. If you are within Metro Manila, chances are you would get a connection for all of them. But if you will be residing in the area of Tondo, Divisoria, sun would have poor reception there for internet.

        For me 10kb/s download rate is fairly decent. If you are also accessing it through a mobile device like a tablet or smartphone, I suggest you download Opera Mobile. It has turbo boost function which processes the webpage data first in Opera’s server before sending it to you at a reduce compressed size. This is actually what some people use when their mobile plans have data caps so they do not eat up as much on their plans just to surf.

        Also, mobile view of webpages (When applicable) is less graphically intensive as well.

        Other advice I can give you is having ad-blocking software especially for chrome when you are using your computer/laptop. Again, to reduce the total webpage bytes you need to load.

        This at least allows you to further maximize what bandwidth you have at any given time.

        I know we have somewhat differing views so I try at least to help you address your concerns, if it can at least help you.

        Oh, and yahoo mail is actually heavy and is difficult to load. If you can, I recommend gmail, as it has a basic html view, which is pretty quick to load compared to yahoo and even hotmail. If you are worried about receiving email from your other accounts, you can always have it set to forward to your new email account. And there is a reply as feature depending on which account you want to use.

        If you don’t use Microsoft Outlook to consolidate your emails, then you can opt to try Mozilla Thunderbird as an alternative. It might be a bit clunky, but it is a good alternative to Outlook. Although, downloading yahoo email to it is impossible unless you have a premium yahoo account.

        If you are exclusively using gmail, you can just consolidate all your gmail accounts in your phone anyway and in the pc, set your pc to add accounts to your gmail account so you don’t need to sign in and out everytime you switch accounts.

        Hope that helps.

      2. 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 tall buildings/mountainous terrain, you lose the signal depending on which side you are on and where the tower is located.

        Smart Bro is the best in terms of overall availability but I wouldn’t say it offers the best service cause you get a connection but you can’t really do anything with it.

        I generally use Globe to at least get my emails anywhere. As long as there is a cell signal, I get 3g and can check my email and browse a little.

        Sun is basically a coin toss or the luck of the draw.

        1. 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 to quality Internet services.

          A business’s primary motive is profit. The proper way to get profit is to make customers happy.

          “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?”

          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 you can more or less ensure bigger clients and a lively market. And yes, you get profits.

          While I really appreciate your tips, I hope you understand what I’m trying to say; it’s not only me who REALLY needs a good Internet connection; it’s our entire market. This isn’t just about you or me; it’s about the unmet demand of the consumers, and the necessity of telcos to sufficiently address it.

          This article tackles the entirety of our increasingly technology-oriented society, and the need to sustain it to ensure global competitiveness.

        2. 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 to transmit 3g/4g connections, what is the cost?
          (Wireless is already known to have its downside so I expect wireless internet users to keep this in mind and not just complain. It is part of what makes the case of wireless internet, you have mobility, but you lose quality. A Trade off)

          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?

          It is also a known fact that Area A has ISP X, Y, Z however, Area B may have ISP L,M,N,Y only. This is because the cost of upgrading to have ISP coverage in the other area may not be justified because of pre-existing subscriber base which may mean that it is a heavy gamble to build the infrastructure yet minimal or no subscriber will avail of your service. How do you go about that dilemma from the business side?

          It is the reason why I also stated the trade off with upgrading infrastructure. It is not cheap as you only not need to recoup your capital investment on the equipment but the continuous operation costs tied to it.

          I agree with wanting to have a quality service more accessible. The question would be what is that in your area. It is up to the user to canvass that. Here, we have destinty cable, PLDT DSL and Bayan DSL. As far as I know, those are the only 3 avaialble broadband internet here, excluding the wireless radios of Globe, Sun and Smart. Since my home/office is my home base, I opted to a wired connection and chose BayanDSL.

          So the question is what is the one for your area. Which pre-existing ISP is the best? That is the question for each user.

          This is why I liked Sun’s launch promo. I give you an initial trial period and if you don’t like it, return the dongle.

          As a consumer, we have choices already. We are not as limited as I think some think they are. They just put themselves in that box.

          Now, if there really is not blazing fast ISP in the said area, especially provincial non-town center spots, I recommend using the work arounds I mentioned because they do help and work.

          Again, I emphasize, we can choose only one, blazing speeds with data caps or average speeds with unlimited data. I choose average speeds so at least I don’t have to worry about the ridiculous surcharge on bytes beyond the data cap.

          If you are worried of going beyond your mobile data cap if you are using it on your tablet or smartphone, there are monitoring means as well that are either pre-installed or third party apps that can do it for you.

        3. “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 you can more or less ensure bigger clients and a lively market. And yes, you get profits.

          Of course the in-between processes lie on the prudence of telcos and their creativity, but it will benefit the Philippines in the long run if they will pay attention to bettering their technologies and satisfying consumer demand, which can possibly include budding investors. I’ve been saying this repeatedly for quite a while now.

          Perhaps telcos can temporarily lower down the prices to encourage more subscribers. If it doesn’t work, they can negotiate and secure ties with investors to have usable investments (or you can just loan from a bank) to fund your upgrading project. Or two or more telcos can join forces to make Internet upgrades a reality. There is so much that can be done, as long as telcos have the right incentive.

          “This is because the cost of upgrading to have ISP coverage in the other area may not be justified because of pre-existing subscriber base which may mean that it is a heavy gamble to build the infrastructure yet minimal or no subscriber will avail of your service. How do you go about that dilemma from the business side?”

          Note that businesses can “study” the market. Of course businesses should not just build there if they don’t know where they stand. They can first conduct surveys, assessing the consumers’ satisfaction, or they can run free test drives for willing subjects, and then ponder on how they can meet the prospective demand (if there are any).

          “So the question is what is the one for your area. Which pre-existing ISP is the best? That is the question for each user.”

          And the job for telcos to answer.

          The rest of your statements speak clearly of my earlier assertion:

          Of course there’s the argument of doing your very best to get the best connection. But should it always be that way? It would be profitable for telcos to bridge the gap themselves… unless they have other incentives.

          As I’ve mentioned, the problem with teloos is that they’re starting to be complacent. Rural areas are becoming more and more impervious to technological advancement because nobody bothers to inform them or just study the market. Again, there’s no need to randomly erect a building at the rural areas. Rational marketers always study the market first before making a move. Anyway, telcos’ complacency alludes to the possibility that constitutional provisions affect our economy negatively.

          Can you see what I’m trying to say? You have done your best to explain how the demand can reach the supply, but have we considered how the supply can reach the demand?

          As I’ve said again and again, if Philippines is really keen on becoming a global powerhouse, our companies must be efficient enough to meet demand with a corresponding supply. Investors and budding businessmen won’t chase after the products telcos provide. It is up to telcos to bring the goods to them. Perhaps they can do the same to the unmet demand of local consumers.

          I hope I’ve made my case clear. There is an acute asymmetry between demand and supply, which is why they don’t really meet, no matter how one says supply is good in quality. The market is still ugly despite that assertion.

        4. 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 for the proper requirements that would be needed by the event, however, the organizer did not request for the proper infrastructure, as such, it resulted in poor quality video streams being fed to any pc anywhere in the world. We were pretty much being maligned as a nation that couldn’t provide the proper facilities in the beginning but it was later revealed that it was the organizers fault for not addressing the requirements of the video stream.

          If it is from a business standpoint, there are means for them to get their needs and I think one of the major infrastructures that we do not have here is server farms, which can store and process data and reduces the pingtime and thus initiates a faster response to calculate the data needed to be outputted on your device/browser. I think that has to do more with safety because we are prone to floods which can greatly damage the sensitive systems as well as power generation needs to be stable to avoid damaging the sensitive equipment.

          For personal accounts or residential lines however, as the consumer, if your ISP is not giving you the service you need, it is either you need an upgrade or to change it. I think that is fair and simple enough. I don’t think there is any place where there is strictly a monopoly of just having 1 ISP option, other than outskirts or far flung areas where only 1 mobile company serves, like in the far areas of Busuanga. So there is somewhat a consumer choice still existing as to which 1 or 2 ISPs can give you the better service you seek.

          A case you also have to consider is bandwidth allocation of the webpage/IP/domain to the Philippines. Have you ever wondered why in some cases, no matter how “fast” your internet is, the “download” isn’t really utilizing it?

          Is that a fault of the telcos? Actually no. The underground cables that connect our internet/data traffic with the rest of the world is actually limited in certain respects and as such, there really is a bottle neck in those cables and other sites actually limit the service to certain regions to cater to bigger markets.

          Try running speedtest, then after you get the results, try running speedtest while you are loading a 5 minute long youtube video.

          If your ISP bandwidth is being maximized by that HD Youtube video, you should pretty much suffer a severe drop in the result you get in the second test. But that is most likely not the case. So you can not just blame it solely on the telcos as well.

          That is my take on the whole picture as well Arche.

          I do not also wish to keep repeating myself, but I do believe as consumers we have a choice. The problem is, most consumers do not know what they need against when they have requested/ordered for. Some also don’t understand that upto x.xxmbps speed means that is not a fixed number, but if you avail of the fixed ISP line, you will get the actual bandwidth you are paying for. IT won’t fluctuate and it would be a dedicated bandwidth strictly for your account.

          And I do not believe that provinces suffer from poor service from telcos, because I have a friend who availed of a 3mbps business line connection in Bicol and after running a few tests, it is the actual speed that he receives from the telco after we ascertained his actual data requirements.

          Cheers!

        5. 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 dictate the bandwidth you provide.

          And just because you have good upload speed from the source’s end, doesn’t mean it is all good. You also need a minimum equivalent down speed on the receiving end.

          Sample is if your streamed CCTV source is from Paranaque with a 1mbps upspeed for 4 cameras @ 256kbps.

          You are in Valenzuela and want to view your actualy current footage stream. If you only have around 512kbps down on Valenzuela, then you should not expect all 4 video streams to be working flawlessly or at least at 15fps. You should trim the simultaneous feeds down to 1 or 2 to achieve this and just cycle through the other cameras instead of loading them all simultaneously.

          Food for thought for all readers.

          Cheers!

        6. 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 our services attractive to FUTURE businesses. I am emphasizing that we need to give budding entrepreneurs incentive to participate in our market, and the easiest way to do that is to improve our average performance. You have said so yourself; we do lack in important infrastructures to stabilize the telcos’ services; this is something telcos should address with robustness if we are to secure future investments.

          I am fully aware that local consumers have a choice. What I want to address is the expansion of these very choices and the betterment of these choices in terms of quality.

          As to the underground cables, it does not mean telcos cannot do anything about it. They can cooperate with other agencies like DPWH or Meralco to settle the problem. I keep on throwing suggestions; telcos can do so much if they are really concerned about consumer satisfaction.

          If you are REALLY after meeting the demands of the market, you will be able to figure something out to deliver your products to them. Again, the problem here is complacency. The same principle applies to accessibility of services.

          Also, you don’t really have to repeat yourself. I am fully aware that Filipinos do have choices; but what I’m after is the expansion of these choices and the betterment of these choices in terms of quality.

          Finally, the fact that your friend can avail a good Internet connection does not negate the notion that telcos can do more to make their services more accessible to people.

          This is what I’ve been trying to say again and again: it is true that the Filipino people can do something to get a good service, but telcos can also do something in turn, if they really want to enliven the telecommunications industry.

          “Can you see what I’m trying to say? You have done your best to explain how the demand can reach the supply, but have we considered how the supply can reach the demand?”

          Complacency. This is the problem I always see in our markets. Complacency.

          As of now, I don’t even think we’re getting at something. I discuss one thing, you discuss another, although there are places where we overlap… somewhat. While I appreciate your dedication to informing readers about what they can do to cope up, my intention is to raise attention about the growing complacency of telcos, and to negate the notion that they can’t do anything about it. In fact, there is so much that can be done if they are creative, as I’ve stated in my several suggestions.

          Again, I appreciate your tips about Internet services, but they don’t really answer the questions that bug me (I have put them up in my article and in my lengthy comments), nor do they reinforce or disprove the idea I’m trying to impart; there are things that can and should be done if we want the world to recognize us.

          I’m prepared to offer a compromise in this discussion, as you bring up good points as well. But we are slowly deviating from the case in point. You are discussing what consumers can do to reach the supply; I’m discussing what telcos can do to reach the demand, which is becoming increasingly important to make our market more technologically sophisticated.

        7. 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.

  7. 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!

    1. 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. 🙂

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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 cellphone signal to these second zone citizens… I guess we, in Palawan, don’t deserve to have telephone or internet!

  12. 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!

  13. 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.

  14. @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/ month and have not disconnected for the whole 4 years I was subscribed while the speed is within 80% to 95% of the promised speed.

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