Telecommunications

PLDT to roll out additional fiber lines, ports nationwide

Integrated telco PLDT Inc. announced that it is rolling out additional fiber lines and providing 500,000 more ports nationwide in the next three to six months to serve the continuously rising demand of more Filipinos for high-speed broadband and connectivity.

“Broadband connectivity is more important than ever, particularly in these pandemic times when more people are directed to work and study from home,” said Alfredo Panlilio, chief revenue officer, PLDT and president, Smart Communications Inc. “That’s why PLDT is ramping up its capabilities to be able to serve more Filipinos nationwide.

“PLDT is rolling out more fiber, more ports in more parts of the Philippines than it has ever done before because we want to connect as many Filipino families as we possibly can to our fiber network. We have now put into place more install-and-repair teams so we can connect more Filipinos to the most extensive fiber infrastructure in the country,” Panlilio said.

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He also said families are realizing the wealth of options available to them by having a broadband connection, but it now comes down to their selecting faster speeds so they can better enjoy PLDT’s network.

The principal challenge that PLDT faced during the enhanced community quarantine months has been how to meet the surge in demand, particularly for PLDT’s fiber-powered broadband service.

Installation capacity

“PLDT’s network service teams have worked out how to operate under pandemic conditions and have been able to steadily ramp up their installation capacity,” said Menardo Jimenez Jr., SVP, for PLDT Home, PLDT.

Responding to the increased demand for digital connectivity, PLDT has increased its capital expenditures to P70 billion for 2020, on top of the P260 billion total Capex spent in the last five years.

“The pandemic has compelled people to redesign their life at home. Many of these changes involve greater use of the internet and digital solutions to make work, study, and leisure at home more efficient and enjoyable. Hence, we have a notable spike in upgrades and new installs,” Jimenez said.

PLDT’s investments cover the different components of the digital infrastructure ecosystem. It includes the ongoing modernization programs for PLDT’s overseas cable systems and its domestic fiber transport network. This also covers ePLDT’s network of data centers that provide vital support to and raises the quality and resiliency of, internet and digital services in the country.

The total footprint of PLDT’s fiber-optic network grew 19% from the end of 2019 to 382,500 kilometers.