Lower House passes bill mandating roll-over of unused data of internet subscribers

Published June 1, 2021, 6:53 PM

by Ben Rosario

With 244 affirmative and zero negative votes, the House of Representatives on Tuesday, June 1 approved on third and final reading a bill that would penalize internet service providers (ISPs) from invalidating internet data allocation of users that remain unused for a month.

Congressmen unanimously passed House Bill No. 9057 or the ‘Roll-Over Internet Act” that provides for the mandatory roll-over of unused data allocation for postpaid and prepaid subscribers or users.

HB 9057 consolidated legislative proposals filed by Deputy Speaker Michael “Mikee” L. Romero and Enrico Pineda, both of 1PACMAN Partylist and Paranaque Rep. Joy Myra Tambunting.

The House Committee on Information and Communications Technology strongly pushed for the passage of the measure.

Roll-over data allocation is defined in the bill as “the unused internet data allocaiton per month which shall be carried over to the following month.”

Romero said the bill seeks to guarantee that end users of internet services are fairly treated by allowing them to enjoy to the fullest the data allocation they paid for.

HB 9057 institutionalizes the Roll Over Data Allocation Scheme that directs ISPs to implement the system for their subscribers who will be allowed to consume the data they paid for in the preceding month.

It mandates ISPs to “roll over the unused and accumulated data every month” until the last month of the year. All data allocation for a year may be used and converted as rebates, which may be used as payment for internet service in the succeeding year of subscription.

According to Romero the bill imposes a fine of P50,000 per violation on ISP’s who will not comply with its provisions.

Revocation of the erring ISP’s license and franchise will be the penalty for repeated violations.

“Internet service has become a vital necessity for every Filipino, every byte of information data is important to every household. This are just among the reasons why we filed this measure,” said Romero.

ON the other hand, Pineda stressed that the bill “intends to ensure that subscribers will get the most of their internet allocation that they have subscribed from.”

“Tambunting explained that through the scheme introduced int he bill, “unused data allocaiton from internet data packages or promos will not expire.

“Instead, the remaining unused data allocation will be carried over o the succeeding months until the end of the year,” said Tambunting.