Filipino telecoms regulator the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has given the thumbs up to Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company’s (PLDT’s) request to take a participatory role in the Asia Submarine-Cable Express cable system. Local press reports say that in a 2 July ruling, the watchdog granted the telco a ‘certificate of public convenience and necessity to its participation in the ownership, construction and maintenance of the Asia Submarine-Cable Express submarine cable network and to construct the Philippine Terminal Station in Daet, Camarines Norte for a period of ten years based on its legislative franchise’. PLDT now has 15 days in which to pay its PHP3,000 (USD70) fee for the requisite certificate from the NTC.
The new cable, which is being constructed in partnership with NTT Com of Japan, Telekom Malaysia and Singapore’s StarHub, is expected to double the Filipino carrier’s bandwidth capacity, as it has capacity of a minimum 40Gbps. The 7,200km long cable has a landing point at Daet and connects to Singapore, Japan, the US and Europe. It cost USD400 million, of which PLDT’s share of investment is USD55 million. Ultimately, the carrier hopes to interconnect the new link with other submarine cable projects, it said.