Republic of the Philippines HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES Quezon City FIFTEENTH CONGRESS First Regular Session House Resolution No.

_________ _____________________________________________________________________________ Introduced by Reps. TEDDY A. CASIÑO ____________________________________________________________________________ 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

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