Internet Wars on NTC's Bandwidth Cap

Of the subscribers of Internet service providers (ISP) in the Philippines, who can claim that they never experienced any delay in their Internet connection? I bet that majority of Filipino Internet users experienced delays or hassles when they connect to the Internet.

As of this moment, while I type this article, I am experiencing intermittent signal on my Smart Broadband. When I managed to connect to the Internet, the loading time is agonizingly slow that I decided to stay off line for a while. Many Filipino subscribers are experiencing the same fate as I am. When you do a Google search on the local ISPs, you will encounter, more likely than not, a blog post or forum that is full of angst against the faulty service of ISPs like Smart Broadband and Globe Broadband.

As a response to the many complaints regarding the local ISPs, the National Telecommunication Commission (NTC) drafted a memorandum. Based on the draft memorandum, NTC wants the ISPs to issue a minimum guaranteed speed for their service. Currently, the ISPs only publicize the maximum speed (like in Smart Broadband, which is up to 1Mbps). However, during my one year subscription, it is very rare for me to see a 1 Mbps speed for my Internet connection.

I welcome this move by the NTC, because this will force the ISPs in making sure that their subscribers will get the Internet speed that is close to the maximum speed that they advertised. This will reduce the number of angry posts on forums and blogs. This will be a big help for many Filipino Internet users who rely on the Internet to get extra income like bloggers and viewers of pay-to-click ads.

However, the point of contention of those against the NTC's draft memorandum is the proposed bandwidth cap for every user. This means that a user will be capped for their bandwidth usage. Thus, if the NTC says that all residential users should be capped up to 1 GB of bandwidth usage, then users will be not allowed to go beyond the 1 GB limit. Thus, if you are bit torrent addict and you already downloaded 1 GB of data, then your ISP will not allow you to download more torrents, unless you pay an additional fee for the exceeded bandwidth.

Yugatech is in support of the draft memorandum, while other bloggers like Cocoy of POC denounced the bandwidth cap. I suggest that you read their articles to decide on which side are you on.

As for me, I just want the local ISPs, specifically Smart Broadband, to improve their system and to build better infrastructures for their Internet services. I really hate it when I had to wait for a long time for a plain HTML page to load. I hate it when I have to wait for a long time for the pictures on my blogs to be uploaded. I hate it when the broadband signal is so intermittent that I had to stay offline, lest I punch my PC monitor.

In the NTC's draft memorandum, I would like them to implement the minimum guaranteed speed so as to make the ISPs improve their infrastructures. I have qualms about the bandwidth cap because it might limit my activities in the Internet. However, Yugatech mentioned about the abuse of the current system and why the cap is needed.

Further study is needed and (like Cocoy had said) we must look at South Korea to see how their system can be applied in the Philippines. However, as of the moment, while the issue is not yet resolved, I want to see my Smart Bro connection live up to its claim of up to 1 Mps speed, as advertised.

2 Response to "Internet Wars on NTC's Bandwidth Cap"

  1. Tony Ashcroft says:

    I think that the NTC's move should be lauded. Finally, an executive agency that has bite to its bark! Great move NTC!


    And many was bitten by this move by NTC. Many bloggers are reacting against it eh.

    I heard that some popular blogger created a petition to stop this move by NTC.