PLDT plans broadband expansion by 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Listed telecommunications giant PLDT Incorporated aims to expand its "ultrafast" broadband coverage to 6 million homes nationwide by 2020.

To improve its services, PLDT said in a statement on Sunday, February 18, that it has been installing fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) facilities and upgrading its existing copper-based network through hybrid technologies that are being extensively used in Germany and South Korea.

FTTH can deliver speeds of up to one gigabit per second (Gbps), while hybrid fiber can provide data speeds ranging from 100 megabit per second (Mbps) to 500 Mbps over copper lines.

"PLDT will further expand its ultrafast broadband coverage to 6 million homes passed by 2020, reaching more areas of the country," PLDT chairman and chief executive officer Manuel Pangilinan said in the statement.

Pangilinan earlier said PLDT will be spending over P50 billion every year until 2020. (READ: PLDT partners with Huawei for 5G rollout in 2020)

The record-high capital spending budget will be used mainly to fund the expansion and upgrade of fixed and mobile networks of PLDT, which has been under fire for slow, costly services in the past few years.

"By 2019, virtually all of PLDT's 1.2 million copper-based DSL subscribers will enjoy fiber-fast internet," Pangilinan promised.

PLDT was able to expand its fiber-fast internet connection to 4 million homes nationwide by the end of 2017, up nearly 43% from 2016.

The telecommunications giant also increased the capacity of its fixed broadband network to over one million ports by end-2017, doubling the number two years ago.

In 2017, the biggest increases in the number of ports or actual broadband lines were in the provinces of Cavite, Pampanga, Bataan, Zambales, Cebu, Pangasinan, Bulacan, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, and Laguna. –