LEADING telecommunications service provider Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) is set to complete within the year a P216-million project to strengthen the resiliency of its fiber optic network amid the frequent typhoons and floods that visit the country each year.
The project is intended to provide reliable connectivity to homes and businesses in southern Luzon.
“Learning from our experience in past typhoons, this project will help fortify our fiber optic network in Luzon, particularly the southern part which is often affected by calamities,” PLDT president and chief executive officer Napoleon Nazareno said.
PLDT said it will strengthen the resiliency of its network by putting more and more of its fiber optic cables (FOC) underground particularly in the areas hit by Typhoon Glenda (international name Rammasun) last year.
This will serve both fixed and wireless customers in these areas and complement the existing aerial cables in the affected provinces.
The fortification project covers the FOC links in the Laguna towns of Calamba, Los Baños, Calauan, Pila, Sta. Cruz, Liliw, and an ongoing construction in San Pablo.
According to Nazareno, underground cables are less vulnerable to fiber cuts due to typhoons and landslides.
Maintain reliable service
“Underground fiber optic cables are more resilient because they are not susceptible to cuts brought about by strong winds, falling trees, and utility poles. A resilient network can provide and maintain reliable service even in disruptive conditions such as typhoons,” Nazareno said.
He added that this project is PLDT’s way of helping Southern Luzon get back on its feet after the unnerving force of Glenda, one of the strongest typhoons in 2014 with turbulent winds of up to 185 kph that caused far-reaching damage to people’s lives, properties, and businesses.
The southern Luzon fortification project is included in the P39 billion capital expenditure program of PLDT for the year.
By the end of 2014, PLDT has already rolled out 619 kilometers of underground fiber optic cable in Northern Luzon, strengthening its capacity to provide multimedia services to some 11 million subscribers of mobile subsidiaries Smart and Sun Cellular and around 450,000 PLDT HOME customers.
PLDT’s domestic fiber optic network (DFON) has also linked Palawan Province to the world last year through undersea and inland cable links that run from Puerto Princesa to Taytay in Palawan and San Jose de Buenavista to La Paz, Iloilo City.
Last year also saw the installation of over 150 kilometers of PLDT’s submarine and inland fiber optic cables that linked the island of Bohol with the major urban centers in the Visayas and Mindanao regions.
PLDT said that these fiber links support the increasing demand for reliable telecom and data services in two of the most popular tourist destinations in the country.
“As we establish a more resilient and reliable connectivity to the affected areas in Southern Luzon with the rest of the country and the world, our customers in the area will be able to experience high-quality voice, data, and multimedia services,” Nazareno said.