Globe, Smart asked to explain in writing


THE National Telecommunications Commission (NTC)-Davao Region has ordered both Smart Communications Inc. and Globe Telecom Inc. to explain in writing the reason behind the signal disruption that happened in Davao City and some parts of Mindanao on Monday, September 21.

NTC-Davao Director Nelson Cañete said in a radio interview on Wednesday, September 23, that he will be serving a memorandum circular addressed to both telecommunication firms to submit a written explanation within the day on the technical reason for the signal disruption experienced by PLDT Home and Smart customers.

"I-explain nila ang technical explanation. Kabalo ka unsa kadako ang damage nga nahitabo. Laliman ka wala'y mga banko, ATM, offline tanan. Pati ang mga work [from] home, naa ra gyud sa home, wala'y work (They should explain the technical problems behind it. If they only knew how it brought inconvenience and damage because of that. There were no bank transactions. All ATM machines and transactions were offline. Even those working from home had to abandon their work because of loss of signal)," Cañete said.

The NTC official also said that students, especially those who were supposed to have examinations, were one of those gravely affected by the service disruption.

Once the written explanations will be submitted to their office, Cañete said they will study and make recommendations for proper legal action.

PLDT Mindanao Area Consumer Experience head Alan Abrina on Tuesday, September 22, during the regular session of the 19th City Council said the degradation or loss of call, text, and data services experienced in Davao City was due to a cut on the fiber optic transmission line caused by the construction work of other telecommunication providers and road-widening projects in some parts of Mindanao.

Abrina said PLDT Home and its subsidiary Smart Telecommunications Inc. experienced major outages because of several fiber optic cuts.

He mentioned that the PLDT-Smart fiber optics transmission lines in San Francisco, Agusan del Sur, and Barangay Lunocan, Manolo Fortich in Bukidnon, were cut due to separate construction activities.

The PLDT official explained in a presentation to the City Council that inland and submarine connectivity of the PLDT Fiber Optic was severely affected due to the cutting of the transmission line.

Abrina did not mention the internet provider responsible for the cutting.

This was also explained by Cañete when asked during the interview on the initial information they received. He, meanwhile, reminded telecommunication firms of their responsibility in ensuring that their communication lines are unhampered, and that measures must be imposed to avoid similar incidents to happen again.

"Syempre franchise man ni, naa kay responsibilidad nga ampingan nimo imohang linya. Dili kay tungod nagbutang ka diha unya OK na, pasagdan na nimo (Since they are given the franchise, it is their responsibilty to take care of their communication lines. They should not be just putting those wires there, and they would just abandon it there)," he said.

The NTC official also scored the possibility of negligence on the part of PLDT. He said PLDT could have informed the contractor ahead that they have a fiber optic line buried in the area of their groundwork.

Cañete also reiterated their responsibility of ensuring a stable internet connection especially that the majority of students and workers are staying at home due to the current Covid-19 pandemic.

He also reminded them to upgrade their signal since it is a basic necessity at this time of pandemic.


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