It’s been exactly a week now that my Globe broadband Internet connection has been erratic. During the mornings, it would be back to the normal speeds before I experienced this degradation of connection quality: 0.73 Mbps download speed, 0.34 Mbps upload speed.
However, it started in March 31 wherein I noticed that my web browsing, streaming of videos and downloading large media files, of which I paid for, started to crawl down to a notch-above-dial-up speeds: 0.12 Mbps and 0.04 Mbps of upload speeds.
It is so frustratingly slow, even lighter-loading websites, those low on graphics, Java, AJAX, Flash and other rich-media sites takes nearly 3 minutes to load.
I’m on a wired/fixed residential line broadband Internet subscription with up to 1 Mbps download speeds. Ever since I upgraded to this plan last year, I’ve had no complaints because I was getting 50-60% of that speed until March 31.
Then came the news that Globe had recently implemented its ‘Fair Use Policy’ which puts a daily bandwidth cap of 1GB “across all of its subscribers.” The bandwidth caps were put in place because of the so-called “abusers” who use “80 percent of the available broadband Internet bandwidth in the company’s network.”
Following Globe’s logic, once a subscriber consumes more than 1GB of download a day, then that subscriber falls within the “5 percent” of abusive subscribers. This effectively means that anyone who actively uses social networking sites like Facebook, stream online videos in HD on YouTube or play online games could easily consume that 1GB daily limit and become an “abusive subscriber.”
Consumer group TXTPower is right:
Telcos such as Globe Telecoms should be careful in referring to any of its subscribers as “abusers” especially in this age of the internet and social media. Those same abusers may actually be small and medium-scale businesses, home-based online entrepreneurs, OFW families keeping constant touch or netizens in the cutting-edge of surging social media in the Philippines.
In effect, Globe’s bandwidth caps punish consumers for being precisely that, consumers of information in today’s connected, content-rich and even Hi-definition world.
Globe’s argument that the download cap were put in place because network bandwidth is a finite resource only reveals that the company is more interested in maintaining its fat profit margins at the expense of consumers instead of investing more to increase network capacity and improve its service reliability and quality.
Proof of this is the fact that residents in my home town of Silang, Cavite who want to have a fixed line DSL cannot avail of such because the two telcos who provide services to the area; PLDT and Globe have already reached their network capacity. Asked when would new lines be available, they’d say “we don’t know.”
Instead they’d offer their wireless Internet services which people avoid because of their notorious reputation for being slow and utterly unreliable.
Clearly, Globe Telecom and other telcos are creating an anti-consumer environment where they are the only ones who bathe in their fat profit margins. We consumers can understand that network congestion is a problem. However, download cap is not the only solution especially when consumption is not the problem to begin with. All indicators point to the fact that telcos cannot meet demands and would not even spend a centavo to expand their network capacity nor improve the quality of their already unreliable services.
Instead of giving an Internet service that’s worth the hard-earned money I pay for, Globe Telecom punishes me for being an active netizen and labels me an “abusive user.”