NTC finally acts on complaint of internet users

TABUK CITY, Kalinga – After ignoring the complaint of disgruntled internet users of this city against the Smart and Globe for eight months, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) finally took action this week.
The agency was forced to move after this writer, in a letter to the editor in the July 21 issue of the Manila Times, exposed its inaction and accused the agency of being on the side of the telcos for sitting on the complaint since November of last year without even acknowledging it.
The letter also said that the NTC did not acknowledge the resolution of the Sangguniang Panlungsod supporting the call for investigation of the complainants.
Last week, Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba ordered their offices in Cordillera and Region 2 to conduct an investigation in a delayed response to the request of the complaining Internet users that it finds out if indeed the systems of the two telcos serving the locality are overloaded.
A team from the Cordillera NTC composed of Engineers Melanie Fernando and Robillo Soliven went around the city on July 27 and 28 measuring the speeds of the telcos.
When they met with Mayor Ferdinand Tubban and Legislative Staff Officer V Michael Malamnao on July 28, the two reported that the signals of the two telcos are relatively weak.
They said the readings at 5 PM of July 27 was 0.29 Mbps for Smart, 0.09 Mbps for Sun and 2.14 Mbps for Globe and at 8:30 AM of July 28, it was 0.48 for Smart, 0.32 Mbps for Sun and 0.19 Mbps for Globe.
Fernando said that the telcos are monitoring their traffic and there could be a technical reason as to why they are not upgrading.
She theorized that the telcos perhaps could not see the potentials of the city for business expansion so there is a need to sell its viability to them.
She also expressed surprise Smart is not doing anything when Globe is already offering services with minimum speed of 3 Mbps.
Since the NTC cannot answer for the telcos as to why their slow signals, it was decided that representatives including engineers of the Smart and Globe will be invited to explain to city officials on August 10.
“We cannot answer for them even if we are the regulating agency but what we can ask them in our capacity as regulator is to come and answer to satisfy the complainants,” Fernando said.
As the instance of NTC Region 2 Director Reynaldo Sta. Maria who was also present during the audience with city officials that the invitation will be issued by Cordoba.
In a later interview, Fernando told this writer that they could not act earlier because they were not aware of the existence of the complaint until Cordoba ordered them to conduct the investigation.
She said that now that they know, they will work for the solution of the problem as soon as possible one way of which is to try to convince the telcos that Tabuk City is a good investment area. **By Estanislao Albano, Jr.

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