MANILA – Telecommunications companies called for the responsible use of the internet amid the enhanced community quarantine brought by the Coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic in the country.
In a statement on Wednesday, Enrico Delos Reyes, chair of the Philippine Chamber of Telecommunications Operators (PCTO), said the country has enough capacity to address the increase in network traffic from home internet users, especially those working from home during the month-long quarantine period.
“Presently, we have enough capacity with the investments we’ve made into our network in the past years but since the internet is a shared resource, we encourage our customers to still use the internet responsibly,” Delos Reyes said.
Specifically, he said internet users must refrain from using ‘torrents’ or peer-to-peer downloading of multimedia files — known for being the favored distribution network of ‘pirated’ copies of movies, television series and games, among others.
“Refrain from using torrents that hog bandwidth and negatively impact others,” delos Reyes said.
Unlike internet networks at offices, he said home and mobile broadband networks may become strained when used simultaneously by more people.
To mitigate the possible impact of heavy network traffic from home users, the PCTO noted practices that would ensure better internet experience, which include: calling from landline phones instead of mobile phones to decongest traffic from mobile networks, limiting downloads to urgent documents or files, especially during peak hours, using file-sharing services to transfer large files instead of as attachments to emails, and using entertainment apps or websites for video streaming or gaming during off-peak hours.
“Local telco operators are relentless in their efforts to increase capacity, and will continue its essential operations and expansion during the quarantine period,” the PCTO said.
In a memorandum dated March 12, the Department of Information and Communications Technology directed the National Telecommunications Commission to ensure that mobile network operators and internet service providers were providing ample bandwidth allocation, as well as the availability of service and mobile signal, to its users.
“According to Republic Act 10844, it is the policy of the State to promote the use of [information and communications technology] for the enhancement of key public services, such as education, public health and safety, revenue generation, and socio-civic purposes,” DICT Secretary Gregorio Honasan II said in a statement on Monday.
According to the PCTO, it is a non-stock and non-profit organization established in 2003 with founding members such as Globe Telecom, Inc., PLDT, Inc., Smart Communications, Inc., and other telecommunications corporations in the country. (PNA)