THE country's largest and only integrated telco PLDT has launched a modernization program to upgrade customers still using the copper-based asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL) service to fiber within the next 18 months, boosting internet speeds for free.
According to PLDT Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Manuel V. Pangilinan, "Covid-19 has set our agenda for the foreseeable future. At the outset, our task was clearly to keep people connected as the country went into lockdown. Moving forward, we will grow our business by helping our customers – and the country – rebuild their lives and livelihoods with powerful connectivity like fiber, 4G and now, 5G, combined with innovative digital solutions."
"With this modernization program, PLDT sets out to reinforce the drive to install new fiber connections and meet the ever-increasing demand for high-speed internet access for more homes and businesses. It is an essential need, especially in these times of the Covid-19 pandemic," PLDT Chief Revenue Officer and Smart President Alfredo Panlilio said.
"The program will boost the internet service of both PLDT Home and Enterprise customers to fiber speeds, at no added cost," Panlilio added.
During the stricter community quarantine period in the country, PLDT Home gave its Fibr customers a free speed boost of at least 25 megabits per second (Mbps) and double-the-data packages for fixed wireless subscribers.
“PLDT Home Fibr enables subscribers to explore a wider variation of online activities at home on mutiple devices for seamless HD quality streaming, lag-free gaming, among many other services," PLDT Home Senior Vice President Menardo G. Jimenez Jr. said.
He added that "subscribers of PLDT Home Fibr can send data from their device as fast as they can receive it from others. Uploading is necessary when sending files via emails, conducting meetings via video-calls, backing up data to online or cloud storage services, or for playing online games.”
In the months following the lockdown in March, PLDT's network operations made adjustments in its work processes and gradually scaled up its ability to build and repair.
PLDT covered some 7.8 million homes passed by in the first half of 2020, up eight percent from end-2019. The total number of available fiber-powered ports increased 5 percent to 3.67 million, with 1.6 million available for new customers.
The total footprint of PLDT’s fiber-optic network has now reached 360,000 kilometers – the country’s most extensive digital data infrastructure.
PLDT’s commitment to improving internet services has been consistent and continuous. It has increased its capital expenditures (Capex) to P70 billion for 2020, on top of the P260 billion total Capex spent from 2015 to 2019. The upswing in Capex was particularly marked in the last two years when PLDT plowed 38 percent of its revenues in 2018, and 45 percent of revenues in 2019, back into Capex – a clear demonstration of its commitment to improving its services.