NTC sets minimum broadband speed, allows data capping

The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has drafted a memo that will order telecommunications companies to clearly specify minimum speed for wired, fixed wireless and mobile broadband internet. We encourage everyone from the Philippines to read the directive and comment.

Transmitter Towerphoto © 2009 Dan Brian Gerona | more info (via: Wylio)“Broadband service providers shall specify the minimum broadband/internet connection speed and service reliability and the service rates in their offers to consumers/subscribers/users in their advertisements, flyers, brochures and service agreements and service level agreements. The minimum service reliability shall be 80%,” the draft memo stated.

It said internet service providers may offer broadband/internet connection on a “best efforts” basis.

The NTC noted that in the current setup, the telcos are offering broadband internet connections specifying only the maximum speed. With the new policy, subscribers will get informed of the minimum speed they are getting from the service providers.

While that provision in the memo is no doubt favorable to consumers, what is discouraging is that the same memo allows telcos to cap data volume. It provides: “Service providers may set the maximum volume of data allowed per subscriber/user per day.”

The rationale, according to the commission (as pointed out in one of the `whereas´es), is that some subscribers “connect to the internet for unreasonably long period of time depriving other users from connecting to the internet” hence, the ceiling for data usage.

Now that is s-t-u-p-i-d.

The NTC should scrap, delete that provision and instead urge the ISPs to upgrade their facilities. Telcos are raking millions of pesos from their subscribers everyday, why not use a slice of the profits to invest more on bandwidth and equipment?

NTC's Memorandum Order Re Minimum Speed of Broadband Connections (Draft)