PLDT’s Ramon Isberto urges govt to drive internet backbone investment

21 Apr 2015

Ramon Isberto, head of public affairs at the country’s largest carrier by subscribers and revenue, Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), has implored the government to do more to stimulate investment in the nation’s internet infrastructure, claiming that the ‘massive price tag’ involved has left the Philippines trailing behind its neighbours in the region. According to the PLDT official, up to USD16.6 billion (PHP764.4 billion) in investment is needed to realise the government’s publicly stated aim to deliver 2Mbps download speeds to four-fifths of Filipino households by 2016 – as per the goals of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) study presented to Senators last year. The Philippine Daily Inquirer cites Isberto as saying that the figure does not even include the CAPEX that will be required to reach small and large busines users and, as such, has urged the authorities to make the business climate more conducive to investments in internet infrastructure. ‘If we want to ensure that more and more Filipinos get to use the internet in the coming years, the country needs to encourage sustained and substantial investments in network infrastructure and services,’ Isberto said, adding: ‘All of the countries that have been cited as models of good internet services such as South Korea and Singapore had invested very large amounts of money to roll out the infrastructure needed to support such services.’