The Philippines’ largest integrated telco network PLDT is embarking on a major project to deploy additional submarine fiber links to improve connectivity in Luzon, particularly in the southern Luzon provinces of Sorsogon, Quezon, Albay and Occidental Mindoro, and some parts of Visayas, such as Samar and Aklan.
The project, which involves laying over 600 kilometers of submarine fiber optic cable, intends to replace old domestic fiber optic network (DFON) links and enhance the resiliency of PLDT’s network, as it provides additional new fiber routes. Recently, representatives from PLDT and NTT World Engineering Marine (NTT WE MARINE) inspected the loading of the submarine cables onto the sea vessel “Subaru”, which was docked in Bauan, Batangas. This took PLDT a step closer to deploying this fiber to the seabed as additional submarine fiber links to improve connectivity in Luzon and some parts of the Visayas.
Once finished, the project will fiber up for the first time Lubang island in Mindoro, Semirara island in Antique and Burias in Masbate, and will eventually enable PLDT to offer fiber-to-the-home services to customers there, as well as enhance PLDT’s wireless arm Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart)’s mobile network services in the islands, particularly for LTE and 5G.
The project will also fortify existing aerial cables with underground inland cables, which is essential in ensuring network resiliency, particularly in typhoon-prone provinces.
“We continue to fortify our future with the upgrade and expansion of our fiber network to serve as many Filipinos as possible and enable their pivot to digital in the new normal–powering hybrid workplaces, e-commerce, online banking and distance learning even in remote islands,” said Mario G. Tamayo, Head of Technology at PLDT and Smart, adding that this project also helps ensure that PLDT’s network services stay available in the event of fiber breaks.
This project is part of the PLDT Group’s sustained investments in their network. Network-related initiatives made up the bulk of the ₱89 billion spend for 2021. This brings total capex spent over the last 10 years to ₱518.5 billion.