TELCO startup DITO Telecommunity Corp. may start offering home broadband services next year, a company official said.

Ang balak namin, perhaps by next year, mago-offer na kami ng broadband services. ‘Yung sa bahay (We plan to offer home broadband services next year),” Adel A. Tamano, DITO’s chief administrative officer, told a news briefing on Tuesday.

Mr. Tamano also clarified that DITO’s commercial launch of its mobile services will take place in 15 areas, instead of 17, in Metro Cebu and Metro Davao on March 8.

Ten areas identified in Metro Cebu are: Carcar, Cebu City, Consolacion, Danao, Liloan, Mandaue, Minglanilla, Naga, San Fernando, and Talisay. Areas covered in Metro Davao are Panabo, Tagum, Carmen, Davao City, and Digos.

“DITO will eventually make its way to the rest of the country (located within, of course, the more than 37% population coverage) in just a couple of months,” Mr. Tamano noted.

He said the company chose Mindanao and the Visayas as its priority areas for the commercial launch due to a “sentimental reason.”

“It was actually set up to serve the underserved areas,” he noted.

The National Telecommunications Commission announced last week that DITO was compliant with its commitments to cover 37.03% of the country’s population and provide a minimum average broadband speed of 27 megabits per second (Mbps) in its first year of service.

Also on Tuesday, Ookla, the company behind Speedtest, said the Philippines’ fixed broadband average download speed for February “registered its highest jump since the beginning of the Duterte administration.”

“The 5.73 notch up from 32.73 Mbps… to 38.46 Mbps in Feb. 2021 represents a monthly increase of 17.51% and a 386.22% increase from the country’s download speed of 7.91 Mbps back in July 2016,” it said in a news release.

Ookla added that mobile networks’ overall performance also improved last month.

The country saw an average download speed of 26.24 Mbps, an increase of 252.68% from 7.44 Mbps back in July 2016, it noted. — Arjay L. Balinbin