By Sammy F. Martin
MANILA, June 11 (PNA) — The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) is asking Congress to give them P14 million budget to buy monitoring equipment to cope up with the state-of-the-art technology of telecommunication companies.
NTC Director Edgardo Cabarios admitted that they badly need the equipment to look into the internet speed in country.
“We have no monitoring equipment to determine the speed of telcos,” Cabarios told members of House Committee on Information and Communications Technology.
He also admitted that even if they penalize telcos 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.
He likewise appealed to Congress to pass a new Public Service Act law that will replace the 76-year-old law which they consider outdated based on the fast pacing technology.
For his part, ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio said that the law should be amended to penalize telcos and for NTC to have enough equipment.
“It is clear that the NTC does not have the capacity to monitor internet speed,” Tinio said who admitted that they too in Congress are partly to blame on the snail pace of passing laws of national importance.
The House inquiry on Internet services in the country was based on House Resolution 630 of Kabataan Rep. 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 noted.
“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,” he 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 that telcos, 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 concluded. (PNA)