Slow PH Internet hurts businesses

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E-commerce advocate Janette Toral said online businesses suffer daily losses because of slow Internet access.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Businesses bank on the Internet for fast and reliable delivery of goods and services to their customers, but some businesses in the Philippines are hurting because poor Internet connection impacts their profits and returns.

Doing business on the Internet should be easy, with e-mail and online platforms speeding up transactions. While these tools may be efficient, the volume of exchanges between businesses and their clients brings the slow broadband connection speed in the Philippines down to a crawl.

Web designer and game developer Ranulf Goss said in worst instances it would take him five to seven days to download and upload content for clients abroad. Just like any other business process outsourcing (BPO) company, such as the one Goss works for, any lost time means lost money, too.

"More than tens and thousands of pesos [are lost]... Wasted time is a waste in productivity," said Goss.

Retail users are more than badly hit. Danny Tan has been running his own Internet café for 11 years. He has seen how traffic in bandwidth affects his business as more start-ups are joining the competition.      

"As much a possible ayaw mong mawalan ng kita… nagrereklamo mga tao, umaalis, lumilipat sa iba, kaya gagawa ka ng paraan, like multiple IP addresses," he said.

[Translation: "As much as you don't want to lose profit, your customers will complain. They leave and go to other Internet cafes, so you have to find ways to deal with the Internet problem such as using multiple IP addresses."]

E-commerce advocate Janette Toral said online businesses suffer daily losses because of slow Internet access.

Toral showed that entrepreneurs are forced to go for simpler design layouts for their websites to make sure that they will load on slow browsers, while their foreign counterparts can experiment more with videos and even animated graphics.

She added consumers also demand prompt response from sellers. Some orders get canceled when business owners fail to respond because of poor connectivity.

NTC: Fast Internet in PH to take time

The business owners in the country may still have to be a little more patient.

The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) explained on Wednesday (November 25) that other ASEAN countries have faster Internet compared to the Philippines because of government subsidy.

It added that the country's' geography is also a factor because of the need to interconnect islands.

NTC is currently collaborating with other government agencies to draft a national broadband plan to help determine how much and where the government should invest to achieve faster Internet speed in the Philippines.

There are currently 53.7 million Internet users in the Philippines. It is projected to grow to 69.3 million by 2018.