THE National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) will allow Internet broadband service providers to cap the daily volume of data allowed per user. In a revised draft Memorandum Order (MO) on Minimum Speed of Broadband Connections, the NTC said that broadband service providers should specify the minimum broadband connection speed and service reliability, as well as the service rates in their advertisements, flyers, brochures and service and legal agreements.
Alongside the disclosure on minimum speeds and reliability, telecom companies however would be allowed to set a maximum volume of data allotted per subscriber per day.
The volume cap however should come with a service reliability of at least 80 percent.
The regulator said that the service reliability is measured over a period of one month and is derived by dividing the number of hours used in a day into the difference between hours used in a day and hours used below minimum connection speed in a day.
The NTC said the service offers should specify the service rates for a minimum roadband/Internet connection speed and the service reliability.
At P900 per month of subscription for 512 kbps (kilobytes per second) minimum connection speed, the service reliability should be 80 percent. At P1,000 a month for 512 kbps, the service reliability should be 85 percent.
The NTC said that the service providers may offer broadband/Internet connections on a ”best efforts” basis.
The draft MO also said service providers offering committed information rate (CIR) should comply with NTC Memorandum Circular No. 12-19-2004 or the Service Performance Standards for Internet Access Services and Wired Telecommunication Services.
Under this circular, the bandwidth throughput for Internet access is up to 98.5 percent.
For dial-up access, the telcos are mandated to deliver at least 80 percent of committed information status. For leased line access, this is higher at 99 percent.
”Failure on part of a broadband service provider to comply with the order, the Commission shall file appropriate administrative case against broadband service provider,” the NTC said.
The revised draft MO considered the inputs submitted by Digital Telecommunications Phils. Inc., Wi-Tribe
Telecoms Inc., Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. Broadband Philippines Inc., Smart Communications and Globe Telecom.
Representatives of these telcos were unavailable for comment as of press time.
Gamaliel Cordoba, NTC commissioner, said the agency drafted a memorandum order on broadband speed to address the concern raised by the Department of Trade and Industry about the poor service of telcos.
Data from the NTC showed that complaints lodged against telcos reached 622 in the first nine months of the year. Of the total, more than half pertained to poor Internet connections.
Other consumer complaints ranged from erroneous billing to poor service, vanishing pre-paid load credits, e-load issues, and misleading promos.
NTC data showed that the country’s broadband subscribers stood at 3.6 million last year, up by 102.81 percent from 1.77 million in 2008.
The NTC projected broadband subscribers to grow by three digits in the next two to three years.
Manilatimes.net, DARWIN G. AMOJELAR, 12-27-2010
NTC to Cap Broadband Connections