data cap

Telcos' Easy Way Out

I don’t know about you but I’m already sharpening my pitchfork. I’ve been having terrible internet connection from Sky Broadband for several months now. The last thing I wanted to hear over the holidays was NTC allowing telcos to data cap internet connection.

My first reaction was, “ARE THEY KIDDING ME? “I can hardly connect to the internet and they have have the gall to try and impose this?”

I’m dead serious that my internet is so slow. It takes me so long to view video clips on Youtube so I try to avoid the site. I just laugh bitterly when someone suggests I download something off torrent sites. I’ve tried many ISPs in the past and most have been unsatisfactory. Very unsatisfactory. Considering that I live just a stone’s throw away from Ortigas Center, it befuddles me why I only have a few telco options in my area to choose from. Now I’m beginning to suspect that the equipment ISPs use are antiquated and look something like this.

Let us study the draft memorandum of the NTC (which I couldn’t access because either the NTC website is down or my internet connection is very slow).

Draft NTC Memo Order for telcos on Minimum Speed of Broadband Connection, December 2010

Basically, it will give ISPs the go-signal to impose data caps on their subscribers. NTC also wants the minimum speed to be published by the ISPs. However, it didn’t state the kind of penalties the ISPs will get if we subscribers receive less than 80% of the published speed. Furthermore, the memorandum states

WHEREAS, it has been observed that few subscribers/ users connect to the internet for unreasonably long period of time depriving other users from connecting to the internet.

I wonder what their definition of “unreasonably long period of time” is. What if I’m online 17 hours a day but I only browse, use social networks, and email? I think that’s still within the bounds of fair use.

We already pay more for internet services compared to our Asian neighbors. M1 of Singapore charges only S$25.20 (approx P860) for 5 MBP. For P1,000 on Sky Broadband, I only get 1 MBP. I wouldn’t really mind the price difference but the service is so unreliable.

NTC was set up to protect us, the consumers, but this “Minimum Speed of Broadband Connections” proposal is just the opposite. The proposal came from the telcos themselves and NTC Public Relations Officer Paolo Arceo even said so.

(This) particular clause was suggested by public and public telecommunications entities to prevent network abuse by unscrupulous subscribers who violate intellectual property laws, particularly on copyright, by downloading movies and software, similar to abusive subscribers of unlimited call/text promotions which were primarily designed or person-to-person use but used for voluminous commercial undertakings.

“These types of network abuse limit accessibility to a few instead of providing adequate access for all of the subscribers. Commercial or high volume users may avail of other internet connection packages which have committed higher speeds and allow heavy data exchanges.

There are only a few who abuse the network. NTC shouldn’t make every subscriber suffer because of those bastards. What NTC should do is make sure the ISPs have adequate infrastructure to meet subscriber volume. Data capping is just the telcos’ easy way out from delivering quality service. If data capping is a must then NTC should draft a better memorandum where consumers will also benefit.

See you on Tuesday!

The National Telecommunications Commission will be holding a Public Hearing & Consultation regarding the Memorandum Order on Minimum Speed of Broadband Connection.

What: Proposed Memorandum Order on “Minimum Speed of Broadband Connection”
When: January 11, 2011 – Tuesday, 2:00pm
Where: NTC Executive Conference Rm., 3rd Floor, NTC Building, BIR Road, East Triangle, Diliman, Quezon City