It’s no denying that having a reliable internet connection is now becoming a necessity. Not just for recreational purposes, but also for professional and business applications. And with regards to that, a Makati City congressman came up with the new House Bill 5337.
A recent survey suggests that the Philippines still has one of the slowest internet connection in the world. The country only had an average speed score of 4.5MBps. That’s worse from the 5.6Mbps score that India got and way lousy than South Korea’s 29Mbps average speeds, making them dominate the list.
This is where Deputy Minority Leader Rep. Luis Campos Jr.’s House Bill 5337 will come to play. As of today, the internet services in the country are considered a Value-added service (VAS). As per Campos, this limits the powers of National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to require better and higher standards in internet services from the Internet Service Providers (ISP).
But with the House Bill 5337, Campos wants to redefine Internet services as a prime telecommunications function. In return, it will give NTC better regulatory powers that can task different ISP to improve their services.
Under the House Bill 5337, ISPs who fail to comply will be charged with a Php100,000 daily fine. The sanction can last for up to 500 days, which can result in a total whopping fine of Php50,000,000.
The bill is also intended to amend the old 22-year-old Republic Act 7925, also known as the Public Telecommunications Policy Law of the Philippines. The way Filipinos utilize internet services has significantly evolved just in the span of a couple of years. Hence, this outdated law is really in need of an upgrade.
When Congress passed that law way back in 1995, the Internet was just starting to become available in the country. In fact, there is no mention of the Internet or Internet service in the law at all. That is how antiquated the law has become, — Rep. Luis Campos Jr.