DICT backs senate bill mandating telcos, ISPs to give refunds for downtimes
The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has declared support to Senate Bill No. 2092, which will require telcos and internet service providers (ISPs) to give refunds for service outages and interruptions.
The bill seeks to amend Republic Act No. 7925 or the Public Telecommunications Policy Act of the Philippines. Cited under the bill, public telco entities and internet service providers must provide a refund credit to a customer or adjust a customer’s bill who has experienced a service outage or disruption for an aggregate period of 24 hours or more within a month on a pro-rated basis. ISPs and public telco entities concerned must not require customers to take any action to receive a refund credit or bill adjustment. Additionally, the refund credit granted shall also be granted to customers subscribing to a service on a prepaid basis, as stated under the Republic Act No. 7925.
“It is only just and necessary that Filipinos get the quality of service they pay for,” said DICT Secretary Gregorio B. Honasan II.
However, Secretary Honasan stated the DICT acknowledges the challenges that telcos and ISPs experience in the roll-out of their services in the country. He also mentioned that the Common Tower Policy is among the Department’s initiatives to assist the private sector in fast-tracking their infrastructure roll-out.
The Department Circular (DC) No. 008, s. 2020 dated May 29, 2020, provides the guidelines on the co-location and sharing of Passive Telecommunications Tower Infrastructure for Macro Cell Sites, or most commonly called the Common Tower Policy. The said policy is expected to broaden the base of common towers and will speed up the deployment of the Internet across the Philippines as it allows and encourages telcos and Internet service providers to share cell towers.