NTC lacks capability to monitor telcos' internet speeds

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Wednesday, June 11, 2014


THE National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) on Wednesday admitted the agency has no capability to monitor the slow internet speeds of the country's telecommunications companies.

NTC Director Edgardo Cabarios told lawmakers during a hearing of House committee on information and communications technology that they do not have a monitoring equipment to look into the internet speed in country.

"We have no monitoring equipment to determine the speed of telcos," Cabarios said.

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Cabarios said that the agency will need at least P14 million for the monitoring equipment.

The NTC chief also admitted that even if they penalize telecommunication companies for failing to meet a set standard for internet speed, it would only be P200 per day under the 76-year-old Public Service Act of 1936.

ACT Teachers Party-list Representatives Antonio Tinio said that the law should be amended to penalize telecommunication companies and for NTC to have enough equipment.

"It is clear that the NTC does not have the capacity to monitor internet speed," Tinio said.

The investigation into the internet services in the country was based on House Resolution 630 filed by Kabataan Representative Terry Ridon.

"In consultations with several groups of broadband internet consumers, we found out that despite recent advancements made by telecommunications companies with regard to broadband infrastructure and technology, complaints on poor quality of service and slow – if not erratic – broadband internet connection still abound," Ridon said.

"Despite the exorbitant rates being charged by telecommunications companies for broadband internet access, thousands of Filipino internet users have complained against the substandard services delivered by such companies, from limited coverage to internet speeds not truly manifesting its marketed claims of speed," Ridon added.

HR 630 seeks to gather representatives of telecommunications companies and various consumer groups in a congressional hearing, the output of which will be used to create "appropriate laws necessary to set a legal and demandable standard to uplift the quality of internet services in the country."

He said telecommunication companies if found guilty of delivering substandard services during the congressional hearing might even get their franchises revoked by Congress.

"Let this probe not only shed light on the actual state of broadband internet services in the country but also serve as a stern warning to telecommunications companies with substandard broadband services. Be true to your word: don’t promise 10mbps if consumers will in reality take eons just to connect to the internet," Ridon said. (Sunnex)

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