PLDT, Meralco look to tech expert to breath life into BPL project

30 May 2012

Filipino companies Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) and Manila Electric Company (Meralco) say they are looking for a technical expert to assist in their joint venture project to deploy broadband over power lines (BPL) in the country. Meralco vice president for customer retail sales, Alfredo Panlilio, is quoted as saying: ‘When we talked to this person from Germany it turns out that he is only a consultant. We want to deal directly with an expert.’

In January this year Panlilio confirmed that a ‘well-known vendor supplier from Germany’ had expressed interest in the plan and offered its services to conduct tests of BPL for the pair. The Meralco official now says that subsequent discussions proved he was not the man for the job, but that the search goes on.

In March this year CommsUpdate reported that after three years of testing to assess the possibility of introducing BPL services, PLDT said it had decided to put the project on the backburner. The telco has been working with Meralco since August 2009 concerning a joint project designed to bring broadband services directly to the homes of some 4.5 million of the utility firm’s customers. However, PLDT considers that ‘it is not technically feasible to roll out the new technology in the country,’ according to its president Napoleon Nazareno. ‘It looks like we may have to shelve the project for the meantime. Technically, it seems that it is not optimal and efficient to use broadband over power lines in the present circumstances in the way the broadband and power are being consumed,’ he added. The two companies had been trialling BPL in specific geographic locations in parts of Metro Manila (including Malabon), and in some multi-dweller blocks in Makati, including PLDT’s main building.