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Philippines' ISPs urged to better protect consumers

Nurdianah Md Nur | Aug. 18, 2015
They are now required to alert customers who are close to exceeding their data limit, as well as clearly state their service rates and broadband speed.

Internet service providers (ISPs) in the Philippines are now required to send alerts to customers who are close to reaching the maximum data capacity covered by their plans.

The new rules would protect consumers against bill shock, in which a customer incurs a higher-than-expected bill because he unknowingly exceeded the data limit, said the Philippines' National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).

Under NTC's Rules on the Measurement of Fixed Broadband/Internet Access Service, ISPs are allowed to set maximum caps on the data volume, provided that the subscriber is informed when he has consumed 80 to 95 percent of their data limit. When the customer uses up 100 percent of his data capacity, he must be informed that continuing the service would result in extra charges.

Besides that, NTC requires ISPs to clearly state in their advertisements their service rates — including those for promos — and the average downstream and upstream data rates for the different parts of the country. The regulator will continuously monitor and measure broadband speeds to ensure service quality, including downstream and upstream data rates, latency, jitter and packet loss.

The move comes amid consumer complaints about the slow Internet speed in the country, and a report by Ookla that ranked the Philippines 160th out of 190 countries, in terms of download speed.

 

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