Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) yesterday announced plans to expand the reach of its domestic fibre-optic network (DFON) by a further 5,000km to 60,000km this year. Under the carrier’s wider fibre rollout plan, PLDT is investing PHP2.5 billion (USD61.37 million) this year to deploy its DFON to around two million households in Metro Manila, Central Luzon, Southern Tagalog, Panay, Negros Occidental, Cebu and Davao. Commenting on the latest expansion, PLDT president and CEO Napoleon L Nazareno, said: ‘With this expansion programme, we are bolstering our already formidable fibre advantage. Fibre is key to having the capacity to deliver next generation, large-bandwidth data services.’ Nazareno went on to say that the group’s mobile arm, Smart Communications, is also working to expand the coverage of its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network which now boasts approximately 1,000 cell sites. PLDT hopes its efforts will help increase Smart’s 3G/4G coverage from about 70% currently, to 85%-90% of the total network.
In recent months PLDT has also been aggressively expanding its fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) capability, boosting coverage beyond Metro Manila and on to the provinces. The fibre infrastructure is now available in parts of the Visayas and Mindanao, having connected more than 300 mid- to high-end residential apartments there. The company is offering FTTH connectivity from PHP3,000 per month, as well as promoting its triple-play products. PLDT executive vice president and head of home products, Ariel Fermin, is quoted as saying that the new areas served by FTTH include Laguna, Muntinlupa and Quezon City in Luzon, Cebu in the Visayas, and Davao in Mindanao. PLDT initially launched FTTH to around 100 high-end apartments in Metro Manila under the brand name ‘Fibr’.