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Republic of the Philippines

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Quezon City

FIFTEENTH CONGRESS
First Regular Session

House Resolution No. _________

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Introduced by Reps. TEDDY A. CASIÑO


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RESOLUTION
DIRECTING THE COMMITTEE ON INFORMATION AND
COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY TO CONDUCT AN INQUIRY, IN AID
OF LEGISLATION, INTO THE DISMAL SPEED OF BROADBAND
CONNECTIONS IN THE COUNTRY AND THE PROPOSED POLICY OF
SETTING BROADBAND SPEEDS AND MAXIMUM DATA VOLUMES
(BROADBAND CAPS) BY THE NATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS
COMMISSION

WHEREAS, a number of consumers of internet services in the country have


been complaining of slow and unreliable services from the major
telecommunications companies (telcos) and internet service providers
(ISPs). Flashy and expensive advertisements of these companies are
said to have hoodwinked internet subscribers by glossing over and
failing to inform the consuming public about the actual speed of their
internet services which is usually slower than advertised. For example,
“burstible speeds” of up to 2 mbps is said to be almost nonexistent yet
this is being highlighted in their promotional materials;

WHEREAS, aside from providing slow broadband services, telcos and ISPs
have resorted to limiting volume data over their network through a
“broadband cap” that limits consumers from enjoining full use of their
internet connection. An example is Globe Telecommunications which
offers unlimited 1-day internet for its prepaid USB broadband, yet
imposes a 1GB maximum on accessed data without pre-informing their
subscribers. The maximum data subscription is supposedly covered
under Globe’s Fair Use Policy.

A typical message which Globe sends to its 1-day Unlimited Internet


promo subscribers who have reached the broadband cap is:

“GLOBE Advisory: Ur data subscription for today has reached


800mb. Ur remaining browsing hours will resume tomorrow
subject to promo validity. U may opt to forfeit ur remaining
subscription to browse for P5/15. To unsubscribe text
POWERSURF OFF or SUPERSURF OFF to 8888. This promo is
guided by Globe Fair Use Policy.”

By the time the suspension is lifted, the 1-day unlimited subscription has
already expired.

WHEREAS, despite numerous and repeated complaints, the National


Telecommunications Commission (NTC), the regulatory agency that has
jurisdiction over such services, appears to have failed to ensure that
telcos and ISPs provide fast, reliable and affordable internet services to
their customers.

WHEREAS, in what is seen as a breach of its role as the regulator of


telecommunication services, NTC now even plans to allow telcos and
ISPs to set their own minimum broadband/internet connection speeds.
Instead of enforcing globally comparable standards, NTC appears to be
allowing these companies to have their way with internet services,
which is dismal as it is;

WHEREAS, in the same drafted memorandum, NTC is also allowing telcos


and ISPs to set maximum volume data or a broadband cap on their
subscribers;

WHEREAS, in reaction to these alleged shortcomings of the telocs, ISPs and


even the NTC, TXT Power, a consumer protection group, has initiated an
online petition to call for better internet services. They have called for
the Philippine government through the NTC, to strike the data cap off
the drafted memo, hold nationwide public consultations to address
issues of internet users, define what broadband internet is, impose a 90
percent service reliability standard instead of the proposed 80 percent,
make public the standard internet protocol and check compliance of
telcos and ISPs, enforce proper billing and end unfair practices, maintain
social media contact points for public complaints, check the telecom
infrastructure of telcos and ISPs, and conduct a review of the Public
Telecommunications and the NTC laws;

WHEREAS, in its 2008 ministerial meeting, the Organization for Economic


Cooperation and Development (OECD) considered broadband as an
enabling technology for people. In fact, internet use is said to generate
more economic gains than mere production of ICT goods;

WHEREAS, internet has become an integral part of many Filipino’s daily life.
It now plays a crucial role in many aspects of society, from media and
information, entertainment, education, governance and the economy.
The “bayanihan” spirit has extended online where people send support
for those affected by calamities and disasters;

WHEREAS, it is incumbent upon Congress to ensure the accessibility and


quality of the country’s internet services and to look into ways of
improving such services;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Committee on Information and


Communications Technology conduct an inquiry, in aid of legislation,
into the dismal speed of broadband connections in the country and the
proposed policy of setting minimum broadband speeds and maximum
data volumes (broadband caps) by the National Telecommunications
Commission.

Adopted,

TEDDY A. CASIÑO
Bayan Muna Party-list