Nearly all broadband firms meet own targets

PUBLISHED : Monday, 28 April, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 28 April, 2008, 12:00am

The city's five big broadband operators have released their performance statistics for the first time, with nearly all of them meeting their targets.

But lawmakers and internet experts cast doubts over the significance of the figures, saying consumers were more concerned about sales practices than the technological workings of their broadband service.

The quarterly statistics showed how the operators had performed compared with their performance pledges. Areas looked at included reliability, service repair, technical performance and the handling of customer queries and complaints.

Three of the providers - Hutchison Global, New World Telecommunications and i-Cable - made all their targets. The two others, Hong Kong Broadband Network and PCCW's Netvigator, fell short with their customer hotlines.

But the performance pledges are not a service guarantee, according to telecoms watchdog Ofta, and the statistics were issued to allow consumers to make informed choices.

'We believe the initiative will encourage the [service providers] to further boost their service quality and help enhance the level of customer satisfaction, while consumers can monitor their service performance on a continuous basis,' an Ofta spokesman said.

Lawmaker Fred Li Wah-ming said consumers would be more interested in comparing prices and packages, and information on technical performance was too difficult to comprehend. 'Broadband operators and the Consumer Council should survey internet users to find out what their real concerns are,' he said.

Charles Mok Nai-kwong, chairman of the Internet Society, said broadband services in the city were better than those in the rest of Asia. 'Problems concerning technological aspects are rare,' he said. 'The public is more concerned about the marketing tactics and contractual disputes with service providers.'