Pursuant to its mandate of protecting the rights and welfare of consumers and business users in matters relating to ICT, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) inked a partnership with Project Bass, a non-profit project that monitors telco companies’ performance, in hopes of encouraging them to improve their services.
To start off the partnership, DICT Acting Secretary Eliseo Rio, Jr. signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Project Bass’ developer Wilson Chua on 18 July 2018 at the DICT Seminar Room.
Project BASS or Bandwidth and Signal Statistics provides a free mobile app that measures the bandwidth provided by telco companies and internet service providers through crowdsourcing data from the app users. Any app user regardless of time and location can submit its gathered data to Project BASS for consolidation. The integrated data will be published at the DICT website through a widget to be developed by the Department.
Through BASS, the DICT can now determine the internet service experience per municipality. “The key question here is: What is the bandwidth experience in each municipality? We have that data and now DICT has access to that same data. They can now drill down to any municipality in the country,” said Wilson Chua.
Based on the MoU, the monitoring will also intensify the awareness of telco companies and internet service providers on the need for faster and more reliable internet connection, and encourage them to improve their true level of service. This is in accordance with “Hawthorne Effect” where telcos are expected to improve their services, knowing that they are being monitored by the consumers.
The project will also be used to monitor the services to be provided by the New Major Player as soon as its operation starts.
“BASS jives very well with the Highest Committed Level of Service (HCLoS) for the third telco. We will monitor their coverage and BASS will be a good input for the compliance of the winning bidder to their committed level of service. They can also measure speed of the internet, another parameter of the Terms of Reference (ToR) in the area where the new player will put up their infrastructure. These things are very important because more or less, we would like the new player to perform what is committed in their bidding documents. These are the reasons why they will be announced as the NMP and be awarded with the frequencies,” Secretary Rio said.
HCLoS is one of the two ToR options on the selection of the New Major Player. The Oversight Committee meeting on the selection of the final ToR is set to happen on 20 July 2018, Friday.
The initiative can also help the public to decide on which telco they should subscribe too, Rio added.
Project BASS is a non-profit advocacy project that started in 2017 that aims to improve the quality of internet connection in the Philippines through developing a free mobile app that will monitor the bandwidth provided by the telco companies and other internet service providers. To know more about the project, visit http://projectbass.org/.
The DICT is the primary policy, planning, coordinating, implementing, and administrative entity of the government that plans, develops, and promotes the national ICT development agenda. One of the powers and functions of the Department as stated in the Section 6 of R.A. 10844 is to ensure the rights and welfare of consumers and business user to privacy, security, and confidentiality in matters relating to ICT.