internet in the Philippines

91% of PH workers believe internet infrastructure needs to improve faster – survey

Gelo Gonzales
91% of PH workers believe internet infrastructure needs to improve faster – survey
In Southeast Asia, the percentage of respondents wanting accelerated improvements is 78% in Singapore, 81% in Malaysia, 83% in Vietnam, 86% in Indonesia, and 87% in Thailand

MANILA, Philippines – A recent survey by multinational IT firm Cisco found that 91% of the Filipino workers they surveyed believed that faster or more dramatic improvements to internet infrastructure are needed to meet demands from citizens. 

The same percentage of respondents also think the improvements are needed if they are to be fully supported working from home, while in public places, or on the move. 

The numbers come from Cisco’s Broadband Index 2022: Workforce Insights on Access to Internet Services, in which the firm surveyed almost 60,000 workers globally across 30 markets about their home broadband access, quality and usage, and attitudes on how universal access to the internet could benefit economic and societal growth. 

The study was completed in December 2021, with respondents composed of those who either work “full-time remotely; full-time in an office; hybrid, between home and the office; or on the frontline.” The specific number of respondents per country was not provided. 

Notably, the percentage of those wanting faster internet improvements appears to be higher in the Philippines (91%) than the global average of about 75%. For further comparison, in Southeast Asia, that percentage is 78% in Singapore, 81% in Malaysia, 83% in Vietnam, 86% in Indonesia, and 87% in Thailand. At least according to this survey, Filipinos are among those clamoring the loudest for accelerated improvements to internet access. 

The study added, “With almost half (48%) of workers [surveyed in the Philippines] revealing they use their domestic Internet connection to work from home or run a business, demand for better connectivity everywhere is unlikely to waver.” 

Here are other key findings from the survey: 

  • 75% of workers state three or more people in their households are are simultaneously active online throughout the day, for an average of 10 hours per household. 
  • In terms of future Internet usage, 28% expect their household to be online more or the same amount during the 12 months ahead.
  • Also in the 12 months ahead, 22% expect internet services to be used less than they currently do, but not like it was before the pandemic.
  • 43% expect changes as their household returns to the office or back to school.
  • 52% say they will seek to upgrade their home Internet service in the year to come, with 22% indicating they won’t upgrade because it’s too expensive to do so.

Pricing is also believed to be a concern among respondents. “A large majority (78%) of professionals in the Philippines feel access to affordable and reliable broadband will become a major issue for people. Respondents believe this is a particular problem for low-income families, with 87% saying the high cost of broadband is pricing those households out of connecting.”

“More than 9 in 10 (92%) say fast, reliable connectivity is crucial for economic growth in the Philippines; a further 90% say it is the basis of developing a well-educated and informed population.”

Major providers such as PLDT and Globe have regularly updated the public on the improvements they are rolling out, and issues such as right-of-way and permit processes that could slow down deployment. Internet speed has also seen considerable improvements recently, at least according to one analytics firm, Ookla.
Despite these, the working sector – specifically those relying on the internet to make a living  – has expressed a desire for even faster improvements to internet infrastructure, and a belief that pricing has to become more affordable to allow more Filipinos to be able to connect to the internet reliably. –

Gelo Gonzales

Gelo Gonzales is Rappler’s technology editor. He covers consumer electronics, social media, emerging tech, and video games.