Viber Glitch Detected: Philippines on Alert; New Bill Mandating Refunds for Telecommunication Outages Approved
Widespread Glitch in Viber Messaging App Detected
The Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center (CICC) in the Philippines has recently raised a public alert concerning a technical glitch in the widely used Viber messaging platform. The issue has caused numerous failed attempts by users to send video and file transfers. This glitch was detected by the CICC’s Consumer Application Monitoring System (CAMS) and has affected multiple cities both domestically and internationally. Despite the failure in video and file transfers, other features such as messaging and voice calls on Viber remain unaffected.
At present, the exact cause of the glitch on Viber, owned by Rakuten, remains uncertain. The CICC is actively seeking further information to understand the situation. However, the organization has hailed the effectiveness of CAMS in detecting such problems and in safeguarding consumers from potential cyber threats.
New Law Mandates Refunds for Telecommunication Service Outages
In related news, the House of Representatives in the Philippines has recently given its approval on a bill that institutionalizes refund mechanisms for telecommunication service outages. The bill, officially titled the “Refund for Internet and Telecommunications Services Outages and Disruptions Act,” mandates Public Telecommunications Entities (PTEs), including Internet Service Providers (ISPs), to provide refund credits or adjust bills for customers who’ve experienced internet service outages or interruptions totaling 24 hours or more within a month.
This measure is slated to be implemented on a pro-rated basis. However, the legislation clarifies that a refund is not required if the outage is due to scheduled maintenance, provided that consumers are notified 48 hours in advance.
Understanding the New Law’s Provisions
The approved bill further stipulates that the cumulative service disruption should not exceed 48 hours in a month, irrespective of whether the outage is due to natural occurrences or acts of third parties. PTEs and ISPs are required to automatically apply a bill adjustment after a standard process, without needing a demand from the subscriber.
The law doesn’t prevent consumers from filing a complaint with the appropriate administrative or quasi-judicial agency for disputes regarding refund or bill adjustment amounts. It also ensures that refund credits are granted to customers who pre-pay for their services.
Internet Access: A Basic Human Right in the Digital Age
In the current digital age, having stable and uninterrupted internet access is seen as a basic human right due to its various applications that facilitate daily life. Therefore, the new legislation aims to ensure customers are compensated for any disruptions in their online activities. The glitch in Viber, while being a separate issue, underlines the importance of such digital infrastructures and their smooth functioning in our everyday lives.
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