Philippines Case Study
Internet market in the Philippines is very distinct. Although there are a large
number of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) most of them are little more than
resellers of bandwidth. Only those ISPs that are telcos with facilities-based
licenses are allowed to directly provide their own national or international
connectivity. One anomaly of the Philippine market is that there is wide opinion
about the number of Internet subscribers and users with estimates of the number
of users ranging from 500’000 to two million.
There is much
interest on the part of the government in reducing the digital divide and
enhancing access to ICTs. Indeed there is no shortage of programs and ideas and
the President herself is said to be an avid ICT user. The problem is translating
this intent into concrete action. On the one hand, low incomes inhibit access to
ICT. On the other hand, the fairly open and private Philippine telecom market
has meant that the government has had little leverage in forcing operators to
install ICT infrastructure where it is badly needed.
distinctly Philippine phenomenon is the widespread use of mobile Short Messaging
Service (SMS). ”Texting” has developed into a Philippine cultural trait with
one of the highest SMS usage rates in the world. This has interesting
implications as a precursor to mobile Internet access.
mission, carried out in Manila from October 1-5, 2001, included Michael Minges,
Esperanza Magpantay and Tim Kelly. The National Telecommunication Commission
the telecommunication regulator, coordinated the mission.