With an increased demand for a fast and stable internet amidst COVID-19, several senators issued a bill seeking to regulate internet speed in the country.
Dubbed the “Better Internet Act” or Senate Bill 1831, which is a joint undertaking between senators Manny Pacquiao and Grace Poe as well as Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, it demands that a minimum download speed be met from both internet service providers and public telecommunications units.
Specifically, the draft is imposing the following download speeds:
- Rural areas: 3 Mbps for fixed broadband; 2 Mbps for mobile broadband
- Highly-urbanized cities: 10 Mbps for fixed broadband; 5 Mbps for mobile broadband
- Other cities: 5 Mbps for fixed broadband; 3 Mbps for mobile broadband
While imperative, the bill is giving internet providers of up to three years, from the onset of the measure’s effectivity, to meet the demands.
Adding a pro-consumer stance, the draft also discourages telecommunications companies and internet service providers from marketing that misleads the consumer to a level of service that they cannot actually provide.
Any violation to the bill will see the transgressor penalized a fine ranging between PHP 200,000 and PHP 2 million for each infringement.
Alternatively, if the transgressing entity has a gross annual income of not more than PHP 10 million, then it will be subject to a fine equal to one or two percent of the unreduced yearly revenue.
Lastly, the bill also seeks to expand the reach of Filipino people being able to connect to the internet by pushing for service providers to cover areas that are either underserved or unserved.
Source: GMA News