LEADING telco and digital services provider PLDT is set to complete this year the nearly P1 billion fiber optic cable (FOC) link that directly connects the provinces of Agusan to Davao, which provide reliable connectivity to more homes and businesses in Mindanao.
Spanning nearly 320 kilometers, the fiber infrastructure will run through four provinces in Mindanao – Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Davao del Norte and Davao del Sur.
“In line with the government’s thrust of accelerating economic growth in Mindanao, the fortified FOC, which is part of PLDT’s Domestic Fiber Optic Network (DFON), will provide unrivalled communications services to our fixed and wireless customers, including homes and businesses in these provinces,” PLDT Chairman and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan said in a statement.
The reinforced fiber network can provide reliable service even under disruptive conditions such as typhoons and earthquakes, he said.
“The underground fiber optic cables that we are installing here are less susceptible to cuts caused by strong winds, falling trees, and utility poles,” Pangilinan said.
PLDT has also recently completed three major ICT projects in Davao. These include its fourth cable landing station; a state-of-the-art Innovations Laboratory (Innolab), its seventh; and the PLDT Group’s eighth data center, the first in Mindanao.
Ernesto R. Alberto, PLDT chief revenue officer and ePLDT president and CEO, said the projects will greatly expand PLDT’s network capacity and quality of services which will benefit industries and consumers located in the Visayas and in Mindanao and enable them to participate in the emerging gigabit society.
“We have accelerated the necessary investments that will help build and strengthen the regions’ enterprises, and enable them to become not just locally but globally competitive, armed with new digital tools and innovative solutions,” Alberto said.
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.
In a recent development, PLDT also announced the expansion of its fiber-powered fixed line network by about 80 percent to 4.4 million homes passed by the end of 2017, making available ultra-fast internet connection via its fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) service accessible to more families from the Ilocos provinces in the North to Zamboanga in the South.
PLDT is utilizing the hybrid fiber technologies of KT Corporation (formerly Korea Telecom) called GiGa Wire and Huawei Technologies’ G fast, that can 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.