House Bill seeks PHP 1M per day fine to telcos with slow internet
A house bill aims to impose a per-day fine amounting to PHP 1 million to telcos that will fail to meet the mandatory internet speed.
The House Bill 7479, also known as the Public Telecommunications Act of the Philippines, gives responsibility to the National Telecommunications Commission in “ensuring quality, safety, reliability, security, compatibility, and interoperability of telecommunication facilities and services, including all types of internet connection services. To protect the consumers, the House bill aims to implement charges of PHP 1 million a day (or PHP 365 million a year) to telecoms that are found to “have violated, violating, or those which have failed or are failing to comply with the terms and conditions of the act, any certificate, or any order, decision, or regulation of the commission.” Under the bill, telecoms that will be fined should also refund the payment of its subscribers.
However, the penalty shall be equivalent from 1% to 2% of its gross annual income if the violating telecom has a gross annual income of not exceeding PHP 10 million.
The bill also authorizes the commission to impose the fine after due notice and hearing. Telecoms with significant market power as determined by the Philippine Competition Commission should also provide timely access to the commission of its network, facilities, or equipment, for fair and non-discriminatory terms and conditions.
As stated by House Bill 7479 author and Makati City Representative Luis Campos Jr. on Cebu Daily News, the Philippines is ranked as the second nation with the slowest internet speed among the 10 ASEAN member countries at 18.49 Mbps.
The average mobile internet speed of other ASEAN countries is 30.94 Mbps.
“We want the NTC to set faster internet speed targets every year, and then penalize the service providers that fail to deliver,” Campos shared.