PLDT invests P560 M to triple Internet capacity

By Lawrence Agcaoili, The Philippine Star

Posted at Oct 03 2012 07:36 AM | Updated as of Oct 03 2012 03:36 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Dominant carrier Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) is infusing an additional P560 million to triple the capacity of its Internet gateway after successfully completing its P67.1- billion modernization program.

Rolando Peña, head of technology group of PLDT-Smart Communications Inc., said the additional investment is in anticipation of a rapid rise in the number of broadband customers in the next few years.

Peña pointed out that Internet usage is expected to increase rapidly in the next few years with the introduction of new access technologies such as Smart’s long term evolution (LTE) and the fiber-to-the home services of PLDT.

“Every Filipino who uses Facebook, or Twitter, watches Youtube or searches on Google will benefit from this program. This will also provide improved services for the outsourcing industry and other businesses that rely heavily on the Internet,” he added.

He explained that the additional investment in the super-charged network would enable PLDT to stay ahead of the expected video-driven data deluge and at the same time provide reliable and robust services to customers.

The Internet gateway is the network facility that handles internet traffic going to-and-from servers located outside the Philippines. The more users who access the Internet, the heavier the traffic that passes through the internet gateway and thus the greater the danger of congestion, unless added investments in network capacity are made.

According to him, PLDT would initially spend P205 million for the first tranche increasing the company’s international gateway capacity to 600 Gbps (Gigabits per second) or double its current capacity by the end of the year.

Internet gateway capacity is critical for the Philippines since the bulk of content accessed by Filipinos, such as Facebook, sits in servers outside the Philippines.

“A network’s Internet gateway should grow in terms of traffic handling capacity; otherwise, users will experience difficulty connecting to the internet or the content they would like to access,” Peña said.

The total Internet gateway capacity boost would bring capacity close to the terabit mark by the third quarter of next year. This would increase the PLDT Group’s infrastructure in providing internet connectivity to service all its subscribers.

This increase means PLDT will be able to provide customers with a superior experience in using web-based video services such as streaming and downloading video content.

“Filipinos are among the biggest users of Facebook in the world and this capacity boost will enable them to have a richer experience when logging in to these popular social media sites,” Peña pointed out.

Last September, PLDT announced it has completed its P67.1-billion network upgrade and modernization program way ahead of schedule tripling the company’s voice and data capacity.

The upgrade brought the PLDT Group’s total fiber assets to 54,000 kilometers that is more than four times the 12,000 kilometers of fiber network being built by Ayala-controlled Globe Telecom Inc.

This gives PLDT the most extensive and advanced network in the country with over 48,000 kilometers of fiber assets with an additional 6,000 kilometers of Fiber-to-the-Home further expanding its LTE sites.