VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Viral DITO Telecom internet rates NOT TRUE

A false graphic is circulating on social media that claims DITO Telecommunity Corp., the country’s third major telecommunications player, will be offering internet rates much lower than those of its competitors.

It alleged that the company will offer broadband plans with the following rates: P799 for 30 megabits per second (Mbps), P999 for 50Mbps, and P1,299 for 200Mbps. The graphic indicates that the rates would be cheaper by “P1,100” up to “P1,999” than those currently being offered by existing providers Globe Telecom, Inc. and PLDT, Inc.

This is not true. DITO has yet to roll out its services and broadband prices.

“Those rates didn't come from us,” Tessa Razon-Artadi, marketing and communications head of Udenna Corp., told VERA Files Fact Check.

Udenna is one of the three companies that form the DITO consortium, formerly the Mindanao Islamic Telephone Company Inc. (Mislatel), along with China-owned China Telecommunications Corp. and Chelsea Logistics.

“What we can assure you is that when DITO does the commercial launch in 1Q2021, we shall be offering our customers a very compelling value proposition,” Razon-Artadi added.

The untrue post was published on Sept. 2 by three-week-old Facebook (FB) page New World Update, and has received over 8,900 reactions, 2,500 comments and 2,100 shares, with netizens asking in the comments section if DITO’s service was already available in their area.

Apart from the false rates, the post also carried incorrect PLDT broadband figures. Based on its official website, cited as a source of the post, PLDT does not offer 30Mbps and 200Mbps plans.

The spurious graphic circulated on social media after the House of Representatives approved House Bill 7332 on third reading on Aug. 24, which seeks to renew Mislatel’s 25-year franchise. It was received by the Senate on Sept. 1.

Based on latest reports, DITO said it is working on meeting its commercial roll-out set for March 2021. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Sept. 8 said the company has been given the go-ahead to install cell towers inside military camps.

According to social media monitoring tool CrowdTangle, the post could have reached over 624,000 people with traffic largely coming from FB groups JOEY DE LEON, 2018 HTTP INJECTOR EHI/HPI FILES PH (FREE INTERNET) and SARA DUTERTE-CARPIO FOR PRESIDENT MOVEMENT INTERNATIONAL.

New World Update was created on Aug. 23.

(Editor's Note: VERA Files has partnered with Facebook to fight the spread of disinformation. Find out more about this partnership and our methodology.)

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