Image credit: Department of Information and Communications Technology

Image credit: Department of Information and Communications Technology

Department of Information and Communications Technology signs MoU to monitor performance of telco companies in the Philippines

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) formed a partnership with Project Bass to live up to its mandate, which is to protect the rights and welfare of consumers and business users in matters relating to ICT.

Project Bass is a non-profit project that monitors the performance of telco companies with the hopes that this will encourage them to improve their services. The project was started in 2017 that aims to improve the quality of internet connection in the Philippines.

According to the announcement made by DICT, DICT Acting Secretary Eliseo Rio, Jr. signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with developer of Project Bass, Mr Wilson Chua at the DICT Seminar Room on 18 July 2018.

Project BASS stands for Bandwidth and Signal Statistics. As the name implies, it provides a free mobile app that measures the bandwidth provided by telco companies and internet service providers (ISP) through crowdsourcing data from the app users.

Regardless of time and location, any app user can submit its gathered data to Project BASS for consolidation. The integrated data will then be published on the DICT website through a widget to be developed by the Department.

With the help of BASS, it will be easier for the DICT to determine the internet service experience per municipality.

The MoU highlights the capability of monitoring the performance of telco companies and internet service providers. With this knowledge, there will be an increased awareness on their part to provide faster and more reliable internet connection. Plus, this will encourage them to improve on their true level of service.

This move can be attributed to the Hawthorne effect, which is the alteration of behaviour by the subjects of a study due to their awareness of being observed. Because of this, telco companies are expected to improve their services to the community, knowing that they are being monitored by the consumers.

Acting Sec Rio added that this initiative can also assist the public on deciding which telco they should subscribe to.

Project BASS will also be used to monitor the services to be provided by the New Major Player (NMP) as soon as its operation starts.

He explained that BASS is able to jive well with the Highest Committed Level of Service (HCLoS) for the third telco. HCLoS is one of the two Terms of Reference (ToR) options on the selection of the NMP.

DICT will be able to monitor their coverage and the input from BASS will help determine the compliance of the winning bidder to their committed level of service.

With the capacity of BASS to measure the speed of the internet, DICT will be able to check another parameter of the ToR in the area where the new player will put up their infrastructure.

This monitoring is essential as DICT would want to ensure that any new telco player performs what they have committed to in their bidding documents and the consumers get what they expect.

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