DITO technical audit questioned

September 10, 2021 People's Tonight 150 views

A PUBLIC policy thinktank is calling on the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to disclose the actual results and methodology of Dito Telecommunity’s second technical audit, stating that the audit results do not appear to reflect actual customer experiences.

“Instead of Dito, it is the NTC that should explain to the public the actual methodology and results of the second technical audit, because nothing in the audit hews closely to real-world results tested by actual users. We’d like to know which parallel universe these speed tests were taken.”

This was the statement of Terry Ridon, Infrawatch PH convenor, and former House Information and Communications Technology member.

Ridon said NTC’s disclosure of its technical audit methodology is critical to determine whether it has given Dito a fair or favorable shake during the audit.

“With a P25 billion performance bond on the line, Dito has too much at stake to fail in any audit. But certainly, the public would like to know whether the audit parameters had been crafted in a manner that accurately reflects real world performance. Because if not, the audit not only misleads the public, but it also misleads government.”

Ridon said the findings of third parties relating to Dito’s real-world performance should be taken into account.

“It is unacceptable for Dito executives to state that third party speed and reliable surveys might be based on tests ‘beyond the far points’ because the public expects fast and reliable speeds over a wide swath of service areas, and not just within the vicinities of specific towers. This kind of defense essentially compromises the accuracy of the technical audit.”

Ridon said based on a third-party report by a mobile data analyst, Dito’s download, upload and video experiences have declined over the course of several months, while other operators yielded fairly consistent results.

“NTC and Dito should clarify why the technical audit reported very reassuring results while third party reports show otherwise.”

Ridon said while declining speed and reliability results may reflect a widening customer base, it also reflects the limits of Dito’s current infrastructure to cater to more users in both the short and medium term.

“With a widening customer base and currently limited infrastructure, the public can certainly expect a poorer user experience than before. In fact, the question should be asked whether Dito’s current capacity is mostly organic, or merely piggybacked on the capacity of other operators. If it is the latter, it poses a risk not only to maintaining current capacity and reliability but also to Dito’s overall business.”

There were attempts to get the side of NTC Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba but to no avail.