A new bill requiring telcos to give customers refunds for downtime might be enacted into law. The Department of Information and Communications Technology DICT showed support for this new bill that requires telcos and internet service providers to refund its subscribers for service outages or downtimes. Senate Bill No. 2092 states that public telecommunications entities and ISPs are to provide a refund credit to a customer on a pro-rated basis or adjust a customer’s bill, who experience a service outage or disruption for an aggregate period of 24 hours or more within a month.
These refunds for downtime credit are proposed to be granted to customers for both post-paid and prepaid subscribers of any telco or ISP. The bill so far only requires telcos to give refunds for downtimes and makes no mention if it will also serve the benefit of customers who have requested their providers for a downgrade or have their service discontinued but are left unattended, which are among common complaints which may merit a refund as per DTI’s stipulated consumer rights.
This bill amends Republic Act No. 7925 of the Public Telecommunications Policy Act of the Philippines which was passed into law in 1995. “Your DICT supports responsible delivery of telco services to Filipinos. It is only just and necessary that Filipinos get the quality of service they pay for,” said DICT Secretary Gregorio B. Honasan II.
However, it is not lost to Secretary Honasan and DICT that telcos and ISPs are faced with the challenge of rolling out their services nationwide. To address this, the DICT has the Common Tower Policy in place that will assist these entities in fast-tracking their infrastructure roll-out which to simply put, allows, and encourages telcos and internet service providers to share cell towers. This fast-tracking of internet rollout is augmented by anti-red taping measures that were set in place since last year.