Philippine Broadband Normalization Index
Or something along those lines… I couldn’t remember the exact phrase mentioned to me by Dr. William Torres (more commonly known in the local IT industry as the Father of Philippine Internet) during the last eCommerce Forum when we huddled in a group discussing suggestions on infrastructure that could help promote internet commerce in the country.
In essence, this broadband normalization index is being studied by the NTC to create a bandwidth standard in broadband connectivity offered by commercial telcos. That way, consumers are well educated what they are getting when signing up for DSL or 3G.
I only remember a few tidbits of our discussion on that but I think that effort by the NTC is a reaction to the growing number of complaints regarding the quality of broadband connectivity, especially in residential areas. This means when an ISP offers a 1.2 Mbps connection, the subscriber is informed that the 1.2 Mbps may drop to a certain speed (say 512Kbps) and still be within the acceptable threshold of the index.
If you will notice, ISPs offer two different packages — one for residential and another for business. Both packages offer the same bandwidth speeds actually, only difference is that with the business plan the ISPs offer a CIR. The CIR, or committed information rate, is the minimum guaranteed speed. That guarantee is non-existent on residential packages. That might be reasonable since the monthly subscription fee is only 1/3 of the equivalent business plan.
The normalization index, from what I understand from Dr. Torres, will see to it that the offer broadband speed are within acceptable (tolerable) limits. What these limits are or how this will be implemented, I don’t have any idea. However, in the US, I heard from a TWiT podcast that it should be around 60% of the listed plan.
This should be interesting once NTC comes out with this publicly. I agree with Dr. Torres that is a good move, though I reckon there will be some controversy and lobbying that will happen.