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One for the books, an unthinkable absurdity

05:01 AM November 21, 2017

Appearing in printed and online advertisements of Globe Telecom internet plans is the following small print so small it could hardly be read: “Minimum speed is 256 kbps. Minimum service reliability is 80%.” Obviously, this is the compliance of the telecommunication company to National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) Memorandum Order No. 07-07-2011 which states: “Broadband service providers shall specify the minimum broadband/internet connection speed and service reliability and the service rates in their offers to consumers/subscribers/users in their advertisements, flyers, brochures and service agreements. The minimum service reliability shall be 80%.”

Globe’s declared minimum speed is one for the books, an unthinkable absurdity. Please consider the following:

First, the small print means that if you are subscribed to Plan 1299, Globe has already given your money’s worth by delivering 2.56 percent of your contracted speed of 10 mbps. And it’s not only that. Because the minimum service reliability that the company guarantees is 80 percent, Globe is also free to give you a speed lower than 256 kbps 20 percent of the time.

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Second, the advertisement materials which bear the minimum speed small print also offer entertainment services such as Netflix, Hooq and NBA pass. Globe’s own website states that to have a satisfactory Netflix experience, one must have at least 3 mpbs so how could you make use of the service if the only signal strength the company guarantees you is 256 kbps?

Third, there is no distinction in the minimum speed of plans. The client who is subscribed to Plan 6999 who pays a base fee of P6,999 a month and Plan 1299 holder are both guaranteed only 256 kbps. That’s like buying cars of different models at different prices and ending up with the same engine power.

Lastly, PLDT flyers state that the minimum guaranteed speed for Plans 1699 and 1299 is 5 mbps. That is roughly 20 times faster than the minimum speed of Globe.

That brings us to the question of why the NTC approved the preposterous 256 kbps minimum guaranteed speed of Globe. Did it think 256 kbps at 80 percent reliability is fair to Globe subscribers? Has it noticed the gaping difference between the declared minimum speeds of PLDT and Globe? Clearly, the NTC has a lot to explain on how this absurdity has been forced on Globe clients.

In approving the crawling 256 kbps minimum speed of Globe, the NTC has allowed Globe to continue to deceive unsuspecting customers with the false promise of “blazing speed” in its advertisements.

It could continue to point angry clients to the “hidden” text in the advertisements.

By the way, there is no article online announcing Globe’s decision to set 256 kbps as the minimum speed for all its
internet plans.

ESTANISLAO C. ALBANO JR., casigayan@yahoo.com

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TAGS: Estanislao C. Albano Jr., Globe Telecom, Inquirer letters, internet speed
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