LIRNEasia started working on broadband quality of service experience as long as as 2007. The early part of the story is narrated in this five minute video. One of the earliest conclusions we reached was that speed was just one dimension of performance. We communicated these findings to TRAI as long ago as in 2009. It’s a pity that speed is the only aspect mentioned in the title of the consultation paper for which comments are due by the 29th of June.
LIRNEasia research fellow Grace Mirandilla-Santos is an advocate for better broadband in the Philippines. She was recently given the great opportunity and daunting task of presenting the consumers’ perspective on telecom service access, quality, and affordability at the Philippines’ 1st Telecom Summit. Along with results from LIRNEasia’s broadband quality of service experience studied, she used statistics and analysis from different studies and her own research for validation. Various sources arrived at the same conclusion: Internet service in the country is improving, but continues to be one of the slowest and most expensive in the world. In summary, the Philippines has: the slowest average fixed broadband speed in Asia Pacific (Akamai, Q4 2016); the second slowest 3G/4G overall speed in the world (OpenSignal, Feb 2017); the third most unaffordable internet service in Asia (EIU, 2017); unaffordable fixed broadband and mobile (post-paid) broadband services relative to average monthly income (ITU, 2016).
LIRNEasia CEO, Rohan Samarajiva, was recently invited to the 12th South Asian Telecommunications Regulators’ Council Meeting in Tehran, Iran, where he made presentations on intra-SAARC roaming charges (mentioned in this post) and broadband quality of service in the Asian region. LIRNEasia has been involved in broadband quality of service testing in the Asian region for a while now. The most recent tests using the AT-tester, a diagnostic tool developed by IIT-Madras and LIRNEasia, were conducted in October 2010. Rohan argued that delivered speeds with the local domain were above those advertised, the opposite was true in the international domain. Furthermore, broadband services in Asia offer lower value for money than in North America, likely largely in part due to high international backhaul costs.
Finally the TRC has woken up and started paying attention to broadband QoSE. Unfortunately, like many people and animals who are prodded awake from deep sleep, it is grumpy. It is talking about guilt and “taking action” rather than sitting down with the operators and finding a solution. “The Telecom Regulatory Commission is conducting its own investigations on mobile broadband speeds advertized by operators,” Priyantha Kariyapperuma, director general of the TRC said. “If any mobile operator is found guilty of providing slower speeds than advertized, the TRC will take action against them.