Council Conducts Inquiry on Internet Services, Access

BAGUIO CITY – The City Council, during last Monday’s regular session, required the presence of all internet service providers in the city for an upcoming inquiry in aid of legislation pertaining to their different services for accessing, using, or participating in the internet in preparation and in view of the upcoming opening of classes for school year 2021-2022, as well as the work from home or alternative work place arrangement of organizations for their workers and employees.

In a resolution, city legislators stated that the main purpose of the aforesaid invitation is to inquire as to the updates, plans and preparations of internet service providers in the city pertaining to their different services, access, using, or participating in the internet in view of the upcoming opening of classes for schoolyear 2021-2022, including the work from home or alternative workplace arrangement of different types of organizations for their workers.

The council stipulated that the recent advisory and recommendation from the education department which fixed the school calendar and activities of schoolyear 2021-2022 paved the way for the initial preparations to be undertaken by the schools but also the concerned education stakeholders because of the blended type of learning to prevent the further spread of the dreaded Corona virus Disease (COVID) 2019.

Further, employers of different types of organizations have decided to implement work from home or alternative workplace arrangement for their workers to prevent the clustering of COVID-19 cases among the ranks of their workers and sustain the operation of their businesses.

The body argued that accessibility to reliable internet services has become critical for remote work and schooling, and thus puts into question the ability and reliability of internet service providers in meeting the expected increase in the demand of internet use, as well as the immediate emergency responses to common internet connection problems, particularly for students and workers.

According to the resolution, the connectivity problems encountered by the students who were mandated to attend online classes and workers who were compelled to work from home or through an alternative workplace arrangement during the initial implementation of the said schemes last year should  have been effectively and efficiently addressed by the concerned internet service providers to avoid similar problems that may transpire so as not to disrupt schedules of classes.

While internet service providers had been rolling out their respective upgrading and rehabilitation of their facilities over the past several months, the council emphasized the need for the local government to get the commitment of the said companies in providing quality connectivity to avoid the unnecessary disruption of classes and work primarily because of weak internet signals in the different parts of the city.

The council will be scheduling the date when the representatives of the different internet service providers will appear during one of its upcoming regular sessions for them to be able to shed light on the matter to avoid similar complaints that will be lodged by students and workers victimized by poor internet signals around the city./Dexter A. See