Consumers will be able to make better-informed purchasing choices of broadband Internet service providers following the publication of performance pledges by five ISPs later this month in Hong Kong.

This is a joint initiative of Hong Kong's Office of the Telecommunications Authority and the industry aiming at increasing the transparency of the service performance of and level of customer satisfaction with the broadband Internet service market. The performance pledges will cover areas such as network reliability, service restoration time, technical performance, customer hotline performance and customer complaint handling. These are areas identified by a survey commissioned by OFTA in 2007 as either very important or important to consumers when choosing an ISP. The pledges are the service standards which the concerned ISPs will use their best endeavours to meet.

The five ISPs who have taken part in the initiative are the Hong Kong Broadband Network Limited, Hutchison Global Communications Limited, New World Telecommunications Limited, PCCW IMS Limited and Hong Kong Cable Television Limited.

"We are pleased that these five ISPs have decided to take part in this meaningful initiative. They will publish reports of their actual performance levels against the published pledges on a quarterly basis and it is expected that the first reports will be available in April this year. The published information should help consumers make better-informed choices when they decide to subscribe to the service of a particular ISP," OFTA's spokesperson said in a published statement.

The performance pledges will be published on the respective websites of the five service providers from January 25, 2008. As for the quarterly reports of their actual performance against the pledges, they will be published within one month after the end of each quarter ending in March, June, September and December.

"We encourage other ISPs to follow suit. If any service providers need advice from OFTA in this respect, they are welcome to contact us for assistance," the spokesperson said.

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