MANILA, Philippines — Muntinlupa Rep. Ruffy Biazon pressed his colleagues in the lower chamber on Monday to pass the proposed Faster Internet Services Act (FISA) following its approval at the committee level.

Biazon, principal author of the FISA and chair of the Technical Working Group that consolidated all different bills regarding the issue, underscored the importance of giving the public the internet service “that they deserve and the service that they need” especially in this pandemic where face-to-face transactions are no longer the norm.

“Being competitive worldwide would also require us to update the quality of internet service that is delivered to the people,” Biazon said in a statement.

Biazon said that, once the FISA is enacted, subscribers would receive no lower than 10 megabits per second (Mbps) in metropolitan and highly urbanized cities, 5 Mbps in all other cities, and 2 Mbps in rural areas.

“The usual telco and ISP marketing gimmick of promising of ‘up to’ speeds will no longer be allowed,” the lawmaker stressed, adding that “telcos and ISPs would be required to deliver at least 80% of advertised broadband speed to their subscribers at least 80% of the time.”

The bill also requires telcos and ISP to comply with other quality of service standards, including upload speed, latency, packet loss, and jitter, to be set by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).

“This means that Filipino internet users, even those in the countryside, will no longer get intermittent and slow dial-up speeds in kilobits per second (Kbps). If not, the service provider will be penalized,” the lawmaker said.

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Biazon said service providers who would not comply with standards set by the NTC — which would include the minimum broadband speed and quality of service standards — would be fined up to P2 million for each count of violation, significantly higher than the current penalty of P200 per day.

The lawmaker added that the FISA would also require telcos and ISPs to investigate and address complaints within seven days of receipt of the complaint.

Telcos and ISPs will also be required to refund subscribers for services they fail to render.

— With a report from Miguel Dumlao, trainee


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