NTC urged to crack whip on telcos

  • Written by Ryan Ponce Pacpaco
  • Published in Nation
  • Read: 536

THE National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) should crack the whip on the country’s
telecommunications companies (telcos) and order them to make a much better job of upgrading their
services in the wake of the latest industry findings that mobile data speeds remain among the world’s
slowest in the first half of 2017, a lawmaker said yesterday.

“We do not know why our major telecom firms continue to post disappointing global averages when
it comes to broadband speeds when smaller companies and startups have the capacity to match the average
speeds in other countries at even cheaper prices,” said Camarines Sur Rep. LRay Villafuerte.
“For the umpteenth time, we are calling on our Telcos to shape up and improve their services.
The NTC should crack the whip on these telcos that have billions of pesos to pay for their multimedia
advertising campaigns but apparently continue to allocate insufficient funds for their capex buildup to
upgrade their facilities and services,” Villafuerte said.
Villafuerte was referring to data from the London-based crowd sourcing company Open Signal
showing that the average speed for Smart Communications’ LTE service was only at 10.6 mbps, and only
around 8 mbps for Globe Telecom, which are both below the global average of 16.2 mbps.
Both telcos averaged 2.5 mbps for 3G download speeds, or barely half the global speed average of
4.4 mbps.
Villafuerte noted that this crowd sourced data reflect the actual speeds that consumers get
because they are measured from end-user devices rather than from servers.
Open Signal ranked the Philippines at the bottom 10 of the 75 countries included in its study.
Villafuerte called on the country’s major telcos to dramatically raise the quality and speeds of
their mobile data service to global averages as he urged the Congress to pass a pending measure slapping
stiffer penalties on these companies for failing to comply with minimum quality standards set by the
Villafuerte’s measure -- House Bill (HB) No. 4695 -- would punish telcos that are guilty of
“horrendous” complaints by subscribers, such as poor network signals, overcharging, interrupted or
dropped voice calls, vanishing prepaid loads, surge of spam messages and lousy customer care service.
In his bill, Villafuerte also sought to require the NTC  to come up with a comprehensive and
efficient system for subscribers to report their complaints of substandard services by their respective
telco providers.