I’m a broadband internet user. I rely on it when I’m home. I use it for research, study, blogging, e-mail, social networking, chatting with cousins abroad, and checking out current events. I can live without a TV or cellphone but I hardly live without a basic internet connection. In fact, I own 2 broadband modems (Smart and Globe) and I’m currently using a Sun broadband modem as of posting time. The ‘good news’ of unlimited internet seems to good to be true, and now, I’ve found out that indeed it is due to internet capping.

Internet Capping, simply put, is the application of restrictions by ISPs in order to prevent abuse of some internet users (i.e. constant use of bandwidth-heavy activities such as downloads, video streams, and P2P).

As I’ve said earlier, I’ve tried all broadband modems and I notice that they all seldom reach 1mbps. My first hunch was that there is a internet capping being done behind the scenes. It turned out I wasn’t the only one noticing it. For instance, Sun users have been reporting internet capping at 650kbps (although not yet official). Globe’s SuperSurf (postpaid internet) service is recently capped at 800mb/day while Smart Bro is capped at 1.5gb per month.

The good news is that ISPs will be obliged to declare these restrictions in the near future. Just a few days ago, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) is currently on the move for setting rules for broadband service providers to improve service reliability, including rules for Internet capping and declaring the minimum speeds (instead of saying “up to _mbps”). Hopefully this move will lessen complaints received by the telecommunication giants.

My two cents of advice for broadband users (esp. postpaid subscribers): read the Fair Use Policy before opting for an ‘unlimited’ subscription. It may not be unlimited at all.

The reliability of broadband internet services in the Philippines is still relatively low compared to other countries. For example, during my recent visit to Hong Kong, I’ve received a lot of advertisement flyers from a variety of broadband ISPs that promise speeds of up to 4-12mbps depending on the modem. They even provide broadband TV (proof that they’re fast enough). I hope these speeds can also be implemented soon in the Philippines. 😉