December 1, 2011
Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño today called on the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to sanction the country’s telecommunications companies for ignoring the commission’s order to lower rates for text messages yesterday.
“The NTC should immediately sanction mobile operators who failed to comply with its order to reduce interconnection fees for text messaging. The government should show these giant companies they can’t simply ignore a lawful order and get away with it. How would the telcos follow the NTC when they know that they can circumvent its orders just like that?” said the progressive solon.
Interconnection fees are charged by telecom firms for text messages and calls made between subscribers of different networks.
The NTC order covering SMS rates was supposed to take effect yesterday (Wednesday, November 30). Mobile operators Globe Telecom, Smart and Sun Cellular were supposed to reduce the interconnection charge by 15 centavos from 25 centavos, therefore, reducing the cost of a text message to 80 centavos from P1.
But consumers complained that text message costs have not gone down.
The telcos seemed to have interpreted NTC’s order differently. Smart said its average text message cost now only amounts to 10 centavos, given its different promos. Globe Telecom and Sun Cellular echoed Smart’s explanation, citing their own unlimited text promos. The NTC asserted, however, that its directive does not cover promos but regular text messages.
“So who do we follow, the telcos or the government? Its about time the NTC show the telcos that they mean business and are serious in protecting the public from the abuses of these monopolies,” he stressed.#