Despite the increased internet use of the public during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Luzon, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) said telecommunications companies (telcos) and internet service providers (ISPs) were so far able to provide sufficient bandwidth.
“Ang capacity nakakaya pa sa ngayon, at talagang mapupuri natin ang telcos and ISPs. Pero, of course, may slow down especially sa peak hours, pero hindi naman totally nawawala (There is still enough capacity for now, and we could really commend telcos and ISPs. But of course, there still slowdown during peak hours but the internet does not go down completely),” DICT Undersecretary Eliseo Rio Jr. said in a radio interview over DZBB Wednesday.
The slowdown, he said, was due to the increased use of telecommuting or work-at-home tools such as videoconferencing and file sharing services, as well as increased use of non-essential services such as video streaming and downloading of other media.
“Halos lahat ng tao ngayon nasa kani-kanilang bahay. Of course, yung mga work-at-home ginagamit yung video conferencing. So meron na talaga nangyaring slowdown (Almost everyone is at home. Of course, those working at home are video conferencing. So definitely there was slowdown),” Rio said.
He said a slowdown may be caused not only by increased bandwidth use in the country but also of the worldwide increase in internet usage due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
To help mitigate slowdowns, he said the public must avoid using the internet for non-essential things like downloading media, or reduce the resolution of videos from streaming services.
Free Wi-Fi rollout continues
Despite some delays caused by the ECQ, he said the rollout of free Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi) access points continues in remote areas of the country.
“Tuluy-tuloy ho ang paglagay namin ng free WiFi sa mga nangangailangan, dahil marami nanghihingi sa mga probinsya, lalo na sa mga ospital dito (We are continuing the installation of free Wi-Fi terminals in the provinces because there are many who need such services, especially now in hospitals),” Rio said.
Early in March, the DICT launched its “Free Wi-Fi For All” program which aims to install around 12,000 Wi-Fi terminals by the end of the year mostly in areas with no commercial internet coverage.
The terminals, which use very small aperture terminal (VSAT) satellite communications, were mandated by law to provide a minimum of 40 megabits per second download and upload speeds, as well as protected from cybersecurity attacks and censored by the DICT. (PNA)