Customers petition SLT for better internet service
Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) says ADSL connection issues are due to network abuse by a minority of users downloading large amounts of data. Disgruntled SLT customers have petitioned online at change.org, calling for the company to improve its service.
The petition, “We Want Reasonable WWW,” with over 500 signatures, requests SLT improve its service and “consider practical usage of internet and provide reasonable monthly data usage.”
SLT plans in the past promised unlimited amounts of data volume but was discontinued after January this year. The newly introduced plans have data volume limits, causing concern for old customers who purchased unlimited plans.
SLT CEO Greg Young told the Sunday Times that SLT will not be putting constraints on old unlimited packages.
“As the average internet usage increases and a number of customers become extremely heavy users, SLT has introduced nine new packages to provide competitive prices for customers,” Mr. Young said.
“We’ve introduced new plans with a range of prices, volumes and speeds,” he added. “Under Fair Usage Policy (FUP), we don’t limit the volume, but after they reach a certain data threshold, we reduce the speed, so their quality of service will go down.”
The Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL) allowed SLT and Dialog to introduce a FUP for new broadband packages to implement data caps. According to the TRCSL website, FUP cannot be implemented on existing customers, and they should be given an opportunity to switch to a new package at a reduced monthly rental.
Mr. Young claimed 70% of SLT customers are moving to new packages that offer “higher quality speed performance,” with about Rs. 200 or Rs. 300 reduced.
SLT customer and original petitioner Mervan Arosha claimed SLT is constraining his connection despite being an unlimited plan purchaser before this year.
“I download around 100 GB, I know it is a big amount, but they should inform me before limiting my connection, because when I got the connection they said I can download big,” he told the Sunday Times, adding, “And SLT customer representatives are giving me conflicting answers. Some say I’m a heavy user, therefore, my connection is limited, while others say it is still unlimited.”
“The original unlimited packages were designed for individual home users, or maybe workplace use,” he said. “Heavy users are using it for purposes the packages were never designed for.”
“Even though the old plans were called ‘unlimited’, they have always been limited by a contention policy,” he added.
Network engineer and customer Kalinga Athulathmudali accused SLT of “misleading” customers.
“Basically, SLT is not keeping with the increasing data demands, ” he alleged. “It is trying to keep the same network infrastructure and make more money by adding more users and not expanding its network to keep up with the demand. ”
“There are two ways to regulate connection issues,” Chamindra Attanayake, Information Systems Manager at the University of Colombo School of Computing, told the Sunday Times.
“One is to pass a law requiring ISPs to maintain a certain speed for each individual user. The second is to check bandwidth length for different ISPs, announce who is providing good service, so that others will follow to keep up. The TRCSL is currently doing the second, where customers can see who the best provider is,” he said.comments powered by Disqus