For the first time, PLDT extends fiber to the islands of Burias, Lubang, and Semirara.

Staff ni Anjie
PLDT, the country's largest integrated telco, has deployed additional submarine cable links to connect major islands in Southern Luzon and the Visayas for the first time, bringing much-anticipated fiber connectivity to Burias Island in Masbate, Lubang Island in Occidental Mindoro, and Semirara Island in Antique.

For the first time, PLDT extends fiber to the islands of Burias, Lubang, and Semirara.
Cable landing ceremonies held at Brgy Laurente in the Municipality of San Pascual, Masbate in Burias Island were attended by representatives from PLDT, Smart, NTT-WEM and the San Pascual, Masbate LGU. L-R:  Keitaroh Kimoto and Masashi Nakagawa of NTT World Engineering Marine; Robert Pascual and Meinardo Opiana of PLDT; San Pascual, Masbate Municipal Engineer Ramon Pedrizo Jr., incoming Mayor Zakarina Lazaro, and incoming Sangguniang Bayan Erica Lazaro; Patrick Belicena of PLDT and Smart; San Pascual, Masbate local tourism officer Ma Cecilia Divino; and Brgy. Laurente, San Pascual Brgy Captain Mary Ann Quibot; holding aloft the fiber optic cable which crossed hundreds of kilometers of the sea bed to bring connectivity to Burias island.

To commemorate the occasion, a cable landing ceremony was organized this morning at Brgy Laurente in the Municipality of San Pascual, Masbate, Burias Island. Representatives from PLDT Inc. (PLDT) and its wireless unit Smart Communications Inc. (Smart) were in attendance, led by Group Head/FVP for Network Planning and Engineering Patrick Belicena; Meinardo Opiana, Head/VP for Transport Planning and Engineering; and Robert Pascual, Head of Fixed Transport Engineering, PLDT; and San Pascual, Masbate local government officials, led by incoming Mayor Zakarina Lazaro, incoming Sangguniang Bayan Erica (NTT-WEM).

This fiber network will improve the island's current 4G/LTE service and, in the future, enable 5G. Residents, companies, and communities on Burias Island will soon have access to fiber-to-the-home for the best and quickest Internet service. The deployment in Burias marks the near completion of a major PLDT submarine cable program that aims to improve the quality of mobile and internet experience, open digital opportunities for previously unconnected areas, and eventually help drive progress and development, with communities across the country needing connectivity to keep up with the digital era.

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The fiber connectivity would also aid PLDT and Smart in ensuring network resiliency in the Southern Luzon region, where typhoons, other natural disasters, and man-made mishaps often inflict destruction and service interruption.

"The post-pandemic new normal requires fast, dependable, and fiber-powered connectivity. We are providing more Filipinos with improved connectivity as fiber becomes available in these areas, allowing them to work in hybrid workplaces, study remotely, participate in the digital marketplace, and use other internet services such as online banking and online shopping "Mario G. Tamayo, PLDT and Smart's Head of Technology, stated.

"This is part of PLDT's major project with technology partner NTT-WEM to deploy additional submarine fiber links to improve connectivity in Luzon, particularly in the provinces of Sorsogon, Quezon, Albay, and Occidental Mindoro in southern Luzon, as well as some parts of Visayas like Samar and Aklan. Over 600 kilometers of underwater fiber optic cable and matching inland domestic fiber lines were laid as part of the project "Opiana remarked.

The PLDT Group has never stopped investing in their network. The majority of the 89 billion spent in 2021 will go toward network-related initiatives. This raises the total capital expenditures over the last ten years to 518.5 billion dollars. The estimated capex for 2022 is $85 billion.

With 803,000 kilometers of fiber infrastructure as of end-March 2022, PLDT's fiber infrastructure is already the country's largest. This fiber network also serves Smart's mobile network, which has 76,600 base stations nationwide and offers 3G, 4G/LTE, and 5G to consumers from Batanes to Tawi-Tawi.

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