NTC to tighten standards for Internet service providers

Published by rudy Date posted on March 24, 2009

AMID rising consumer complaints, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) plans to amend the rules on service performance standards for Internet access of telecom companies.

Edgardo Cabarios, director of NTC’s common carrier and authorization department told reporters that the five-year-old circular on Service Performance Standards for Internet Access Services and Wired Telecommunication Services should be reviewed.

Under the old circular, the bandwidth throughput for Internet Access is only up to 98.5 percent, he said. For dial-up access, the telcos are mandated to deliver at least 80 percent of committed information status and 99 percent for leased line access.

The NTC said it may revise it to 100-percent committed information rates. “ The committed information rate will guarantee speed, capacity to subscribers,” Cabarios said.

The regulator is planning to undertake a performance review of the Internet broadband service of telcos to address consumer interests.

The NTC had received e-mails from consumers asking for an evaluation of all telcos offering broad­band Internet.

Data from the NTC showed that complaints lodged against telcos reached 613 in the first nine months last year.

The regulator said subscriber complaints against Smart Communications Inc. topped the list at 209 incidents, followed by Globe Telecom Inc. and unit Innove Communications Inc. with a combined 185.

Consumer complaints against Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) reached 128, while those against Digital Telecommunications Phils. Inc. and unit Sun Cellular reached 68. Bayan Telecommunications Inc. meanwhile had 23 complaints.

Of the total complaints posted during the period, more than 50 percent pertained to poor Internet connections.

Other consumer complaints ranged from erroneous billing to poor service, vanishing pre-paid load credits, e-load issues, spam text messages and misleading promos.

Data from the NTC showed that Internet broadband connectivity in urban areas stood at 100 percent, as against 40 percent for rural areas.

The regulator said 70 percent of households and 75 percent of businesses have access to wireless broadband service.
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