Filipino telcos not keen on setting minimum broadband speeds

2 Feb 2015

A number of major Filipino telecoms operators are opposing a plan which would see them having to set and advertise the minimum speed for their broadband services, BusinessWorld reports. The telcos, represented by the Philippine Chamber of Telecommunication Operators (PTCO), sent a position paper to the Senate last week arguing that such a move would be detrimental to end users in the long term. ‘Setting a minimum speed for broadband data connection will mean dedicating resources irrespective of whether the providers have said resources or not. This inefficiency will only increase the cost of access, thereby making broadband service more expensive or less affordable to the people in rural areas,’ the PTCO paper read. Whilst corporate broadband subscribers are provided baseline speeds via their so-called ‘committed information rate (CIR)’, the PTCO argues that extending this to residential users represents an unnecessary additional cost (e.g. when factoring in expenses for bandwidth and fraud monitoring), that could amount to PHP300 (USD6.8) per subscriber, per month. It goes on to point out that the negative effects could be even worse for smaller operators which are forced to commit additional resources for compliance. ‘Undoubtedly, this could effectively kill the relatively smaller companies and broadband resellers like most of the PAPTELCO (Philippine Association of Private Telecommunications Companies) members, which we know provide the ‘last mile’ for rural consumers.’

Heavyweight members of the PTCO include Smart Communications, Globe Telecom, Digital Telecommunications Philippines (Digitel) and Bayan Telecommunications Corp (Bayan).