‘Unli’ promos not really unlimited, says Globe

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The hyped-up “unli” promos offered by telecommunication companies may not be unlimited after all.

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At least one telco, the giant Globe Telecom, is claiming that its “unli” promos are not absolute.

The firm, which has been swamped with complaints from customers dissatisfied with the promo, explained that allowing users unlimited use of data “will starve everybody else.”

“The idea of data capping is not a new one. In fact, Comcast with fiber-to-the-home has a cap of 300GB,” said Ernest Cu, Globe president and chief executive officer.

“The landscape of content is changing. Have you heard about 4K video? Its resolution is twice that of HD.

A movie is now 18GB to stream or download. So if you keep that unlimited you will starve everybody else,” Cu said.

The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has ordered Globe to submit copies of all its agreements with its subscribers who availed of its “unlimited data” services so that its legal bureau can determine if there is a need to penalize the telco.

“The legal bureau of NTC will determine the penalty,” Edgardo Cabarios, NTC deputy commissioner, told The Manila Times.

On February 13, the NTC received Globe’s written explanation regarding consumer complaints on its Fair Use Policy (FUP), especially on its “Unlimited Data Offerings.” The company said it wants to protect 97 percent of its subscriber base against the three percent who take up more than their fair share of its network bandwidth.

“We enforced the policy for postpaid data plans to protect the data experience of the majority of subscribers who regularly use the network for leisure. The fair use [policy]is being implemented by all telco players not only in the country but also in the most advanced economies,” Globe said.

The Ayala-led telecommunications firm explained that the FUP aims to “encourage a proper attitude toward the use of unlimited services.”

“Unlimited but not finite; unlimited but not absolute; unlimited but not unreasonable; free [to use]but not irresponsible. This has been the guiding norm in several advanced countries where telcos have aggressively checked network abuse through a stringent enforcement of their FUPs,” it added.

Globe subscribers complained that they signed up and are paying, or had paid for, “unlimited” data service but are getting “limited” data service instead.

They said the data connection slows once their usage reaches a certain volume of data, like one gigabyte.

The NTC said telecommunications firms should explain to their subscribers the terms of their subscription, whether prepaid or postpaid.

Globe’s closest rival, Smart Communications, has its own FUP.

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