Filipino fibre provider Converge ICT Solutions has commenced work on a planned USD70 million domestic subsea cable designed to link Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao via 20 landing stations, as part of wider plans to launch broadband services across the country. The Inquirer cites the firm’s founder and CEO Dennis Anthony Uy as saying his company has contracted Malaysia’s Optic Marine to install the cables while Huawei Marine is acting as project manager for the 1,300km cable which will take around 18 months to complete. In total, Converge ICT is investing up to USD1.8 billion to bring its fibre-optic broadband internet service to the whole country by 2023 and to that end recently secured USD250 million in funding from Warburg Pincus and a further USD800 million from local banks to help realise this goal. Long term, Uy says that Converge ICT hopes to cover ‘tens of millions of customers’ with the new service and secure a 30% market share in the next ‘few years’. The telco claims its Luzon backbone deployment is almost complete and that it has around 500,000 subscribers, a figure it aims to double by 2020.