PLDT to migrate fixed line subscribers to fiber in ’21

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    PLDT Inc. is targeting to complete the migration of all its fixed line subscribers to the fiber network by 2021 to ensure high -speed internet for all its subscribers.

    Arvin Siena, PLDT vice president and head of technology strategy and transformation, said the company aims to migrate 100 percent of its subscribers from legacy asymmetric digital subscriber line copper to fiber and fiber-like services in 2021.

    PLDT wireless unit Smart Communications Inc. intends to further improve the speeds in more areas in Metro Manila and key cities to an average of 30 megabits per second.

    Despite the significant spike in data traffic, PLDT and Smart said they have been able to deliver the connectivity needs of the country and even address the surge in demand with the onset of the pandemic lockdown.

    “Though data traffic jumped 20-30 percent when quarantine was imposed, we are able to cope because of the expansions we invested on in previous years,” said Siena.

    PLDT said in recent years, it has invested over P260 billion in its digitalization and transformation journey that saw the expansion of its fiber optic network footprint to over 395,000 kilometers by the third quarter of the year.

    It added that 4G/3G coverage has reached 95 percent of the population, while the fixed network has presence in 46 percent of cities and municipalities with fiber optic and copper by first half of 2020.

    As of end September this year, PLDT said it had 5.7 million fixed and wireless broadband subscribers.

    Meanwhile, PLDT fired up its fiber optic link to Catanduanes island, ensuring service resiliency in one of the country’s most typhoon-stricken provinces.

    “We fired up our submarine fiber optic cable which was recently installed in Catanduanes.

    As you know, Catanduanes was hard hit by the typhoons and most of our network facilities are down. We were the first to restore our service but it’s not enough,” said Siena.

    “Our ongoing rollout of submarine fiber optic cable was very timely as it was completed during this time and we were able to fire up its capacity to restore more areas in Catanduanes,” Siena also said.

    “In other island provinces we want to make sure fiber optic infrastructure is put in place.

    We want to make it more resilient so when opportunities such as cloud infrastructure, data centers and BPOs come in, this will stand the calamities frequently visiting us,” Siena added.

    Siena said PLDT is also laying down underground fiber optic cables in the Bicol region and in Samar province which are frequented by strong typhoons, making their digital infrastructure backbone more resilient.