Telecommunication giant PLDT Inc. on Wednesday advised the public of upcoming emergency maintenance activities that will be held for five days.
“Emergency maintenance activities will be conducted on the Asian American Gateway (AAG), one of PLDT’s international cable systems, from Friday, 25 September 2020 8:00 a.m. to Wednesday, 30 September 2020 5:00 a.m. (Philippine Standard Time),” the telco firm wrote in an advisory.
AAG is a US$553.63-million, 20,000-kilometer long fiber optic cable network that connects the Philippines to the US.
It also connects Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei Darussalam, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Guam, Hawaii and the US West Coast.
AAG support services such as broadband Internet and broadband applications, hence, these services are expected to be affected by the emergency maintenance.
The telco firm, however, assured that measures are in place to minimize the activity’s impact for PLDT and Smart Communications subscribers.
“We shall provide regular updates as the operation progresses, we thank you for your understanding,” it said.
We would like to assure PLDT and Smart Communications, Inc. subscribers that measures have been put in place to minimize this activity's impact. We shall provide regular updates as the operation progresses, we thank you for your understanding.
— PLDT Inc. (@pldt) September 23, 2020
Since the government placed several parts of the country under the community quarantine phase in a bid to reduce the transmission of the coronavirus disease, non-essential workers have been recommended to continue operations via remote work.
The work from home set up prompted renewed reliance on home internet connections, with some applying to have fiber optic services for faster internet than the regular DSL or direct subscriber line relying on telephone lines.
PLDT said to meet the public needs, the PLDT has launched a modernization program to upgrade customers still using the copper-based ADSL service, to fiber within the next 18 months, boosting internet speeds for free.
“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,” PLDT Chairman, President and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan said.
PLDT Chief Revenue Officer and Smart President Alfredo Panlilio also said the modernization program is necessary because of the increasing demand for high-speed internet access for more homes and businesses.
“The program will boost the internet service of both PLDT Home and Enterprise customers to fiber speeds, at no added cost,” he said.
PLDT covered some 7.8 million homes passed by in the first half of 2020, up 8% from end-2019.
Its competitor, Converge ICT also ramped up its capabilities to meet the increase in demand for fast and reliable internet service.
It recently purchased a fleet of service vehicles from LausGroup to augment its workforce with the larger fleet set to accelerate installation and repair in different coverage areas.
Editor’s Note: A unit under PLDT’s media conglomerate has a majority stake in Philstar Global Corp., which runs Interaksyon. This article was independently produced following editorial guidelines.