Are Philippine Internet service providers (ISPs) ready for Netflix?

Netflix is coming and Filipinos are excited! The plans to be offered by Netflix in the Philippines allow subscribers to stream up to ultra high definition videos into their media devices. The following excerpt from a CNN Philippines report details these plans…

Users can choose from three price options: P370 for basic services, P460 for standard, and P550 for the premium service.

All services will give users unlimited access to hundreds of movies and TV shows on Netflix and can be watched on smartphones, tablets, laptops, Smart TVs, and gaming consoles.

The basic service can be watched on one device at a time, and can only be viewed on standard definition.

The standard service, worth P460, is allows for HD (High Definition) viewing and two devices can stream at the same time.

The premium service offers both HD and Ultra HD viewing and can be viewed by as much as four devices at the same time.

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Are Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the Philippines up to the task of supporting high-quality content streaming services like Netflix?

According to a Gizmodo report, the “average prime time bitrate for Netflix content streamed to […] members during a particular month” comes up to 3.36 Megabits per second (Mbps). That is just for standard-definition video. For high-definition video, streaming speeds of from 5 to 10 Mbps are required.

To get the most out of a Netflix suscription, your Internet service plan should allow for at least 100 gigabytes (GB) total data usage per month.

MoneyMax.ph lists 26 broadband internet “deals” available in the Philippines and ranks them by monthly cost. The landscape of plans and services do not look promising. Monthly plan costs range from Php800 to Php3,500 per month. But Filipinos will need to fork out more than Php 1,500 for plans that could deliver the minimum required bandwidth needed to support services like Netflix.

Most Filipinos would barely just be able to afford the required data plans to stream Netflix content. But a plan that barely just meets Netflix’s requirements will likely not cut it. The Philippines’ Internet services are notoriously unreliable and do not perform to consistent levels over a sustained period. This means an Internet plan that meets the minumum specs is not enough. Truly premium services that allow for enough margin to ensure consistent performance will set you back upwards of Php2,500 (USD 52.50) per month which is a lot more than people in most other southeast Asian countries would pay for the same level (if not a lot better) service.

All this highlights the unacceptable reality that the Philippines is not equipped to compete at world-class levels in the business landscape of the 21st Century — not with Internet infrastructure that cannot even support commodity consumer products like that offered by Netflix. Whilst big, well-capitalised businesses in the Philippines can afford — albeit, grudgingly — to pay for good Internet, this situation is an absolute showstopper for the prospect of an Internet-reliant startup culture blossoming in the Philippines. In a world where traditional employment opportunities are drying up, creating an environment that fosters creation and growth of domestic capital becomes even more critical. Sadly, the Philippines once again proves that it behind the curve in things that truly matter to ordinary Filipinos.

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5 Comments on “Are Philippine Internet service providers (ISPs) ready for Netflix?”

  1. My sister just subscribed to Netflix with the standard one. She already watched 2 movies and so far it’s running fine and yet our internet is only 3 Mbps!

  2. I can only see this being used among the well to do inside their gated communities. Even the middle class Pinoys can only scrape by with a pathetic 1Mbps connection.

  3. Here’s another problem that might encounter for Netflix Philippines. Which our telco companies will provide a service for Netflix? Smart have Iflix & Globe already have HOOQ but as we all know that these 2 telcos are too darn slow on their internet speed. Netflix need more that 15 Mbps of internet speed to provide the TV internet/video streaming on their company and those 2 greedy telcos will surely doesn’t want to be partnered with that company due to their internet speed is less than that number (plus very expensive monthly billings or prepaid loads).

    Well there might be a good news later this year, probably IF Netflix will have a partnership with this 3rd and newest telco company in our country & that is Bell Telecoms which is a sister company of San Miguel Corp. And hopefully if that new telco company will meet its requirement of more than 15 Mbps internet speed to access their TV internet/video streaming service of Netflix. To know more about this new telco company called Bell Telecoms, just read this click below:

    https://www.telegeography.com/products/commsupdate/articles/2015/04/07/san-miguel-corp-to-launch-mobile-service-by-january-2016/

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