No to broadband cap, yes to #betterinternet in the Philippines

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“No to broadband cap, yes to #betterinternet in the Philippines” . Please sign the online petition

A few netizens initiated the charge against broadband capping. An online petition is being circulated and led by @rom, @cocoy , @tonyocruz and yours truly for a #betterinternet in the Philippines. Please read my reasons for opposing such a cap and if you believe “No to broadband cap, yes to #betterinternet in the Philippines”, I urge you to sign the online petition. Inform your friends about it.

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National Telecommunications Commission’s (NTC’s) proposal to place a cap on data usage is utterly wrong. Though it is clearly a draft, I am hoping the NTC listens to public opinion and open public hearings.

The questionable provisions (see draft National Telecommunications Commission’s (NTC’s) proposal) are :

“WHEREAS, it has been observed that few subscribers/users connect to the internet for unreasonably long period [sic] of time depriving other users from connecting to the internet;

NOW, THEREFORE… Service providers may set the maximum volume of data allowed per subscriber/user per day…

It turns out that the above clause was “… suggested by public and public telecommunications entities to prevent network abuse by unscrupulous subscribers who violate intellectual property laws, particularly on copyright, by downloading movies and software, similar to abusive subscribers of unlimited call/text promotions which were primarily designed for person-to-person use but used for voluminous commercial undertakings,” explained NTC public relations officer Paolo Arceo in a statement sent to GMANews.TV on December 30.

So why penalize the rest of us when “abusive users” including software and movie pirates which account one to two percent of Filipino broadband consumers? Before the telcos can even suggest such a provision, they have to provide their infrastructure development plans. Adding a cap to a slow and unreliable internet is not the answer. This unfortunate situation should not go unchallenged and should be remedied for the benefit of all internet users — individuals, families, businesses of all sizes, and government.

Cocoy writes an article on Why NTC’s draft memorandum order on Broadband Cap is Wrong

The latest Memorandum Order is nothing new, expect for part five that allows “service providers to set the maximum volume of data allowed per subscriber/user per day.”

This is called a broadband cap.

A broadband cap means that if you subscribe to a 1MBps plan, you’re not supposed to get a speed lower than 800KBps, but your ISP is free to slow down your speed or cut you off if your Internet use exceeds 25GB per month.

Broadband Caps are nothing new. In fact, countries like the United States, Australia, New Zealand and South America are some of the more famous countries known for their bandwidth capping. The United States in particular, broadband caps are norm.

So is Internet very good in America?

Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal wrote a review of iPhone 4. It was a great review, but did you know what he said was the downside? It wasn’t the phone, the downside, Mossberg said was the AT&T network that iPhone was exclusive in. it wasn’t very good.

In Great Britain, bandwidth capping is an issue too like this op-ed piece from the Register on “ISPs against BBC iPlayer.”

The best country in the world for Internet connection is South Korea. So much so that their biggest ISP is working to keep people from Internet addiction.

YugaTech agrees with the NTC and the telcos on Bandwidth capping.

GameOps blog disagrees. GameOps wrote, “The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) continues its anti-consumer stand by allowing Internet Service Providers to specify the minimum broadband connection speed, service reliability and rates.”

Some of Twitter people are saying:

@JonDoblados: “@aileenapolo Sure is not. Especially when these ISPs are already delivering less than what subscribers signed up for.”

@aileenapolo: “@JonDoblados definitely going backward when all other countries are moving forward. Haaaay naku, buhay nga naman.

What do I think?

I say this is utterly wrong. And I have written an open letter to President Aquino, and to the 15th Congress to review our telecommunications law, and to determine a National Cyber Strategy.

I find the concept of Bandwidth caps to be regressive.

Let me tell you why.

Read more on Why NTC’s draft memorandum order on Broadband Cap is Wrong

(to be continued)

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