The globally renowned internet speed monitoring firm, Ookla, revealed that the Philippines saw faster internet speeds in December 2022. Such improvements, if maintained, could launch the real estate market into a growth trajectory. On the Lamudi platform, internet connectivity remains among the most-searched amenities by property seekers.
The latest Ookla Speedtest Global Index Report showed that the country’s mobile median download increased to an average of 25.12 megabits per second (Mbps) in December from the previous month’s 24.04 Mbps. As per GMA News, this represents a 4.49 percent month-on-month improvement in mobile internet speed and a 17.33 percent increase since the new administration began in July 2022.
Fixed broadband speeds in the country also picked up. Fixed broadband media download increased from 81.42 Mbps (November 2022) to 87.13 Mbps (December 2022).
Improvements in internet speeds can be attributed to the increase in permits granted to telecommunications companies. This gave way to the fast-tracking of building infrastructure and is expected to have a spillover effect on the local real estate scene.
Internet Access as a Necessity
Internet connectivity is an important consideration for property seekers today, and the shift to digitalization was notable during the height of the pandemic. Work-from-home setups and mobility restrictions led to more people seeking internet access to keep pace with the world.
From January to April 2022, the onset of post-pandemic era, property seekers paid more attention to technology. Tech and security amenities accounted for almost 20% of the amenity searches on Lamudi platform.
Even with the adoption of hybrid setups to balance employee flexibility and organizational productivity, fast internet speeds are essential for the streaming demands of work at home.
The Rise of Digital Communities
With internet connectivity’s new role as a basic utility, developers and lessors are expected to provide fast, reliable internet service to keep occupancy rates high. It’s also through internet connection that smart homes can be set up. Internet-connected devices enable remote management and monitoring of appliances and systems, making homes better suited to more digitally-enabled normal.
Along with the refilling of Senate Bill 329 or the Better Internet Act, calls for having a telco space in housing developments grew louder. In a report by Manila Standard, an advocacy group voiced that developers should make room for communication infrastructure during the early planning stage, the same way plumbing, electricity, and sanitation are considered.
The bill’s passage will allow telcos and internet service providers to install broadband networks without the need for a congressional franchise. This should make the internet more affordable, accessible, and reliable anywhere in the country.
In a bid to address internet connectivity issues in far-flung communities, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) continues its rollout of BroadBand ng Masa Program, recently providing free WiFi connection to three islands in southern Mindanao, as reported by Philippine News Agency.
DICT and the Department of Tourism (DOT) also inked a partnership to further improve internet connectivity in tourist destinations across the country. DOT identified 94 tourist destinations that will be part of the digitalization project. These include Boracay, Palawan, Cebu, Siargao, Bohol, and other emerging and lesser-known destinations, according to a Manila Bulletin report.
PH Cities with the Fastest Internet Speeds
Developers can also take advantage of the strong internet connectivity in some of the most populous cities in the Philippines. Based on Ookla’s 1Q2022 data, Caloocan has the fastest median download speed at 25.71 Mbps, followed by Quezon City, Manila, Davao City, and Cebu City.
As the preferences of property seekers evolve, so should the horizontal and vertical projects in the above-mentioned cities. Internet-ready communities will likely become a magnet for renters, aspiring homeowners, and businesses.
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