Without any law to prevent its adoption, Ayala-led telco Globe Telecom has decided to invoke the â€œfair useâ€ doctrine in imposing data limits on the broadband subscription of its customer as a way to curb unrestrained use of just a few broadband users.
Globeâ€™s move, first reported by the Philippine Daily Inquirer, was contained in a press statement issued by the company over the weekend.
By putting a cap on the data volume of its broadband users, Globe said it can â€œpromote a more responsible way of using the Internet that will ensure fair and optimum usage of its broadband services across all subscribers.â€
In a recent analysis, Globe said only 5 percent use 80 percent of the available broadband network bandwidth, leaving only 20 percent of the capacity to be shared by 95 percent of the remaining users.
The data volume limit, according to the Inquirer, â€œwould affect only users who download data in excess of 1 gigabyte a day.â€
The issue on data volume capping remains a contentious topic in the industry, with local telcos pushing the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to impose it as a formal regulatory rule.
The agency, however, has already announced that it will not include any provision on data capping on a circular it is currently drafting on the minimum broadband speed in the country.
This is not the first time, however, that a broadband provider has adopted a data usage ceiling. San Miguel-owned Liberty Telecoms, which operates wi-tribe, has been offering WiMax services that have data limits. Lopez-owned firm SkyBroadband also recently rolled out a 5-Mbps Internet offering with 15-GB threshold.
Saying network bandwidth is a finite resource, Globe said â€œit is necessary to adopt a policy that promotes responsible and fair use of the Internet to prevent abuse and misuse of services from a relatively smaller group of consumers.â€
â€œMoreover, the policy aims to preserve the quality of resources in order to provide subscribers with seamless, uninterrupted, and reliable internet connections,â€ it added. â€œThis also ensures consistency and reliability of connection for use of the greater majority of broadband subscribers.â€
Globe cited study done by Envisional which showed that close to 36 percent of torrent downloads was pornography and another 48 percent was movies and television shows.
The study further claimed that 23.8 percent of global Internet traffic is piracy-related and nearly one-quarter of the traffic on the Internet involves the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials such as movies, TV shows, music, and video games.
â€œThese activities, apart from being unsecured, also utilize a significant amount of broadband network data which prohibits other subscribers to enjoy the same quality of Internet connection,â€ the company said.
In the statement, Globe said it has partnered with a parenting group MLAC Institute for Children and Families to educate parents on how to guide their children on the proper use of Internet and computers.
â€œBecause it is our responsibility to provide our subscribers with quality Internet services, we are doing all we can to teach our broadband users how to properly use the internet,â€ stated Jurist Gamban, head of globe fixed broadband business.
Gamban added, â€œThrough this forum, we are actively involving the parents in guiding their children when they access the World Wide Web. We are concerned about how children are exposed to various Internet activities, from downloads, playing games, to watching videos and doing social networking and chatting.
Without restrictions, the Internet can be a source of information not suited for children, or worse, might pose risks that will threaten their minds and own security, Gamban said.