3. Internet Service
Internet Service Providers (ISP) here don’t increase their capacity as quickly as they need to, based on the number of their subscribers. Many people find that doing their internet work during off hours–evenings or very early mornings–speeds things up somewhat.
Basic monthly fees for dial-up costs up to US$20.00, for cable about US$30.00, and DSL for about US$40.00. Higher speeds are also available. You can also purchase scratch-off, dial-up cards for internet service. Service is extremely spotty. If you choose to use this option, promises are often made by the company issuing the card that the service is good, but those promises are not often kept. High speed access, such as T-1 lines, is available, but it is extremely pricey and would only be practical if you have an internet-related business.
Internet cafes are everywhere, since most people can’t afford their own home computer. If you aren’t that interested in cyberspace, this is an excellent option. Avoid the cafe’s geared towards kids who want to play games. Each city has cable/ISP providers. Quality of service will usually be relatively adequate.
Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) service is provided predominantly by the three “landline” phone companies: PLDT, DIGITEL and BAYANTEL. This isn’t that widespread outside of the big cities, like Manila and Cebu, as the required fiber-optic cable is not widely available. Speed often is not as high with DSL as with cable, but DSL is perhaps more reliable. Recently, PLDT has made major improvements on their DSL lines and would be the company I would recommend as a DSL provider. I have also found BAYANTEL’s service to be pretty good. Some of the cable TV companies, like SKY Cable, also provide internet service.
Wireless internet access is currently provided by the two biggest cell phone network operators, SMART & GLOBE. While the speed is limited, reports are that this is a good substitute for cable ISPs.
While Internet access is spotty, slow, and expensive, it is widely available, reasonably reliable, and reaches almost everywhere in the country. Like services in most industries in the country, it has also been improving lately.