Filipinos may boast of being in the world's social network hub, but access to the Internet remains low in the Philippines compared to other countries, a recent United Nations (UN) report showed.
Of the total Filipino Internet users, 75 percent accessed social networks in 2011, the UN Broadband Commission for Digital Development said in its report dubbed the "State of Broadband 2012."
The Philippines also tops the global average of 60 percent social network penetration, even if only 29 percent of Filipinos are able to use the Internet as of 2011.
The country ranked 100th out of 177 in terms of Internet access either through fixed or mobile connections, the report said.
As of last year, there was an average of 1.9 fixed Internet connections per 100 people in the Philippines.
The country ranked 101st in this indicator, lagging behind Singapore 25.5; Malaysia, 7.4; and Vietnam, 4.3.
It performed slightly better in terms of mobile Internet use, ranking 96th with 3.4 subscribers per 100 Filipinos in 2011.
However, the Philippines' performance remained behind Singapore, which topped the list with 110.9 subscriptions per 100 inhabitants; Indonesia, 22.2; Vietnam, 18; and Malaysia, 12.3.
Urging countries to improve the policy environment for Internet growth, the report said: "Broadband is today a critical infrastructure in the growing global digital economy, and countries that fail to invest in broadband infrastructure risk being excluded from today’s online economy, as well as the next stage of the digital revolution and future Internet."
"Always-on connectivity can improve our lives in a myriad of ways by providing better access to health and education, enabling financial inclusion, facilitating m-payments, and creating transparency in government, as just a few examples," it added.
In the Philippines, mobile broadband adoption was found to contribute an annual 0.32 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).
"Given the importance of mobile in the economy of the Philippines, this would account for 6.9 percent of all GDP growth for the economy during the past decade," the report said.
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