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PLDT fibers up Bantayan and Camotes islands, fortifies Visayas connectivity with submarine links

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Residents and tourists visiting the islands of Bantayan and Camotes in Cebu can look forward to enhanced connectivity as the Philippines’ leading integrated telco company, PLDT Inc. (PLDT), continues deploying submarine fiber cable links across the country to elevate customer experience.

A cable landing ceremony was recently held at the Municipality of Santa Fe in Bantayan Island attended by leaders from the LGU, PLDT, Smart Communications Inc. (Smart) and FiberHome.

“On behalf of the Local Government of Santa Fe, we would like to extend our gratitude to PLDT for making this happen. PLDT fiber will encourage more investors on the Island. We hope that this will be the solution to the many challenges that we are facing,” said Municipal Mayor of Santa Fe, Hon. Ithamar Espinosa.

Also gracing the event were Bantayan Mayor Arthur Despi, Brgy Poblacion, Santa Fe barangay captain Renato Bajalla, and Siegfred Cataluña, Municipal Administrator of Santa Fe.

Also in attendance were representatives from PLDT and its wireless subsidiary, Smart , led by Robert Pascual, PLDT Head of Fixed Transport Engineering, Arnold Gabrinao, VisMin Head of PLDT Fiber Engineering, Rhod Ebon, AVP/Center Head of PLDT and Smart Network Field Services, and Christian Philip Remigio, Head of PLDT FOC Project Management; Edgar Burdador of PLDT Home; Kent De La Calzada, Head of PLDT Enterprise in Visayas; and Spark Zang of FiberHome.

This connects Bantayan Island to Daanbantayan, also in Cebu, which is one of PLDT’s gateways to Luzon. In May, a submarine cable also landed in Brgy. Kabac, Bantayan Island, connecting the island to Bacolod City.

This continuous expansion of PLDT’s nationwide fiber infrastructure also includes the recent submarine cable landing at Camotes Island on June 19, which connects it to Mandaue City and Ormoc City.

These developments enable PLDT to rollout fiber across the islands, providing fast and reliable fiber-powered services to individual customers, families, and businesses. This will also allow Smart to level up its mobile services, particularly for LTE and 5G.

These submarine cable links also fortify existing fiber links and enhance the resiliency of PLDT’s network by providing alternate routes for data traffic, ensuring connectivity for customers.

Among those who stand to benefit from this improved connectivity is Camotes Island entrepreneur Joel Pulvera, who operates Santiago Bay Garden and Resort. According to Pulvera, social media and the internet have played a big role in promoting Camotes Island as a tourist destination, thereby enabling his resort to provide more jobs to locals.

“With better internet, we can attract even more tourists–some of whom can even choose to stay and work remotely from the beach,” said Pulvera.

“We are committed to connect more of our islands and our fellow Filipinos with our continued expansion of our fiber network across the country,” said Mario G. Tamayo, Head of Technology at PLDT and Smart. “Fiber-powered services will enable the likes of Mr Pulvera to promote local tourism and drive more visitors to popular destinations like Bantayan and Camotes Islands, thereby generating livelihood opportunities within the community.”

This project is part of the PLDT Group’s sustained investments in their network. Network-related initiatives made up the bulk of the ₱89 billion spend for 2021. This brings PLDT’s total capex spent over the last 10 years to ₱518.5 billion.  Capex guidance for 2022 is at ₱85 billion.

As of end-March 2022, PLDT’s fiber infrastructure was at 803,000 kilometers. This also supports Smart’s mobile network, which had 76,600 total base stations nationwide, supporting its 3G, 4G/LTE and 5G customers from Batanes to Tawi-Tawi, including around 7,300 5G base stations.

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