PLDT doubles down on rollout in 2021, seeks cooperation from government, telcos

PLDT has continuously expanded its fiber-optic network despite pandemic conditions, exceeding 429,000 kilometers as of December 2020, allowing Filipinos to remain linked under the new standard. In the Philippines, the most robust and sophisticated digital transport network lets everyone work from home, study online, and stream content seamlessly. The fiber infrastructure of PLDT also serves its mobile subsidiary.

But although the solution providing the fastest and most secure access is fiber optic technology, this form of infrastructure is often the most vulnerable to external factors and incidents outside the control of service providers such as PLDT. This is because fiber optic cables can be physically cut and destroyed while the fiber itself is resistant to human or electrical interference, resulting in interrupted service.

PLDT has a resilience and redundancy program for a large part of its fiber networks to help reduce the effect of a physically cut or damaged fiber optic cable, which offers numerous cable routes that enable the network to reroute and redirect impacted data traffic. In the midst of fiber cuts or repair activities, this helps guarantee uninterrupted operations and connectivity. But even with the redundancy in place, it has still been found that unintended physical cuts to the fiber network of PLDT cause service interruption.

With the repair job, PLDT has moved relentlessly in lockstep. In reality, following initial delays caused by last year’s COVID-19 lockdowns, PLDT’s home business has since seen substantial progress in responding to calls via its hotlines and customer service networks to follow up on installation and repair issues.

Although fiber supports all of the internet distribution systems of PLDT-Smart, including fiber fixed broadband, 4G, and eventually 5G mobile data networks, as well as carrier-grade WiFi, fiber optics technology is just one primary enabler of the entire ecosystem of PLDT’s network. PLDT’s entire network ecosystem also involves thousands of cell sites, over 59,000 base stations, 4 million ports for outside plant facilities, 25 main data centers, three cable landing stations, and international gateway facilities to ensure a future-proof, secure, and resilient network.

PLDT’s strong network investments make all the changes in the whole network environment possible. Over the past five years, the capital expenditure of PLDT, much of which has been poured into its network construction, has crossed P260 billion. PLDT recently revealed that it is ready to spend between Php 88 billion and P92 billion this year in capex, direct proof of its dedication to providing a superior customer experience.

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