Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Broadband speeds seen to grow tenfold

Internet connection speeds in the Philippines are expected to grow at least tenfold in the next five years as growing demand for broadband services encourage industry players to invest heavily in the sector. Ayala-led Globe Telecom Inc. said the dramatic growth in broadband takeup, reported to number two million subscribers today from almost none three years ago, would not likely slow down in the next few years. “We’re in this high growth stage for broadband, similar to what the telephony industry experienced in the late 90s,” Globe head for carrier services Gil Genio said in a briefing. “I wouldn’t be surprised if, in five to ten years from now, broadband connection speeds would be at 5- to 10 megabytes per second (mbps) for every user.” The expected increase, at the low end of 5 mbps will be about 10 times faster than the 512 kilobytes per second the average Filipino user has, he added. The company on Monday briefed reporters on the company’s tie-up with a consortium of telecommunications companies from seven Asia Pacific countries for the construction of the $400-million Southeast Asia-Japan fiberoptic cable (SJC) system. The underwater cable system, which will span from Singapore to Japan, will be faster than any other Internet system in existence. Out of the SJC’s 17 terabytes per second, Genio said the company would have an initial share of 30 gigabytes per second (Gbps), which would more than double the company’s current bandwidth capacity of 21 Gbps. He said the additional capacity, which could be beefed up further to nearly 960 Gbps, would help the company lower costs, increase connection speeds and improve the quality of services. Earlier, Globe said it had invested about $60 million for the construction of the SJC and infrastructure that would connect the Philippines to the system, which is expected to open in late 2012.

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