LEADING telecom and digital services provider PLDT said on Tuesday it aims to expand the reach of its fixed-line network by about 80 percent to 4.4 million homes by the end of 2017 to make available ultra-fast internet connection via its fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) service.
“We are stepping up our efforts to deliver unrivalled internet services to more homes in various parts of the country, from the Ilocos provinces in the North to Zamboanga in the South,” said PLDT Chairman and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan in a statement.
Late last year, PLDT’s fiber network covered 2.5 million homes nationwide after an aggressive roll out of fiber facilities. This year’s expansion plan will add 1.9 million homes to the market that can be served.
The FTTH service will be delivered through PLDT HOME Fibr, its broadband service that can reportedly deliver
internet speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second (Gbps).
Oscar Enrico Reyes, PLDT FVP and Home Operations head, said PLDT HOME Fibr also features the country’s first symmetrical speed service, which provides equal upload and download speeds, enabling users to better enjoy entertainment from its digital partners like iflix, Fox Networks Group, Netflix, Roku, and iWant TV, and also popular multiplayer online games.
“PLDT Home Fibr also provides a more robust platform for a growing range of Smart Home services. For example, home security services such as FamCam, the monitoring device that makes it possible for parents to watch over their family wherever they are, as well as FamZone, which allows them to keep their children safe online,” Reyes added.
Among the areas now covered by fiber-powered internet connections are Laoag, Baguio City, Vigan City, and Tuguegarao in Northern Luzon; Tarlac, Cabanatuan City, and San Fernando, Pampanga in Central Luzon; and, Puerto Princesa and El Nido in Palawan, down to the Bicol region cities of Sorsogon, Naga, and Legazpi.
In the Visayas, also fiber-ready are the cities of Bacolod, Cebu, Iloilo, Tacloban, and Tagbilaran. In Mindanao, PLDT’s fiber network has already reached Cotabato, Davao, General Santos City, Koronadal, and Zamboanga.
PLDT is also starting to deploy hybrid fiber technologies that can deliver super-fast broadband service through regular phone lines in buildings and residences.
PLDT is utilizing the hybrid fiber technologies of KT Corporation (formerly Korea Telecom) called GiGa Wire and Huawei Technologies’ G fast, which can reportedly provide data speeds of up to 600-700 Mbps per user.
Both technologies work by connecting buildings and dwellings with fiber optic cables and using special equipment to enable the internal copper wiring of these structures to deliver fiber-like data speeds.
PLDT has invested P300 billion or $6 billion over the last 10 years to roll out the country’s most expansive network infrastructure.
In 2016, it set aside P48 billion or about $1 billion for capital expenditures, a significant portion of which was allocated for the domestic fiber infrastructure.