Data Allowance Shouldn't Expire Too Quickly, Senator Wants a Law for That

This roll-over scheme is meant to help subscribers max out their plans.
Photo/s: Sincerely Media via Unsplash

Filipinos should maximize their internet subscriptions  by allowing the non-expiry of unused data allocation to the end of the year, according to a bill filed by Sen. Lito Lapid. Connectivity has become more important during the pandemic for millions who work and study from home, he said.

Lapid's bill aims to help subscribers make the most of their data plans, especially the poor who are forced to spend on expensive and spotty service. Under current mobile plans, unused data is rolled over to the next month and expires by the end of that cycle.

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"Through this scheme, unused data allocation from internet data packages or promos will not expire but will instead carry over to succeeding months until the end of the year," Lapid said in the bill’s explanatory note.

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Any unused credit accumulated at the end of the year will be converted into rebates which can be used for future internet subscriptions, according to the bill.

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All internet services providers are covered by the bill. However, users who avail of unlimited data plans, or plans with no data cap, will not be covered by the proposed law.

Failure of internet service providers to comply with the roll-over scheme will be met with Lapid's proposed fines; P300,000 for the first offense; P500,000 for the second offense, and P1 million for the third offense, along with the revocation of the internet service provider’s license and franchise to operate.

The Department of Information and Communications Technology, the National Telecommunications Commission, and other relevant agencies will be mandated to create the implementing rules and regulations if the bill is passed into law.

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