The Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) expects a P1.3-billion underground fiber optic data transmission network project to be completed by the end of the year.
According to Rolando Pena, technology head of the PLDT Group, the company is currently completing below-ground installation of fiber optic links between Ilocos Norte and Tuguegarao in Cagayan Valley. This is part of the final leg of the underground network project.
The company is also putting the cables underground to eliminate the risk of fiber cuts caused by storms. “The more fiber we bury underground, the more robust our network will be in the face of the storms that have been hitting the country with growing strength,” Pena explained.
He also said the project would provide another loop in PLDT’s domestic fiber optic network (DFON), improving the network’s resiliency by adding an alternative route for communications traffic.
“Our national data transmission network – which is like the national roads system – is now almost 100% underground. That’s one big reason we have been able to quickly restore services after catastrophic storms like Yolanda,” Pena said.
Pena added that the company’s provincial distribution network was around 50% underground. “We hope to make that 100% underground by mid-2015,” he continued.
PLDT’s DFON currently runs through over 88,000 kilometers of on-land and undersea fiber optic cables. It connects the Philippine archipelago through several cable landing stations strategically located in the country, and carries a total capacity of 5.15 Tbps (Terabits per second).
PLDT’s DFON is made up of 6 major loops and 4 sub-tending loops with several third legs within the loops for greater resiliency.
Last month, PLDT finished a new third leg between the Visayas and Mindanao regions, this one running through Bohol. The company also launched a new fiber link to the Palawan island group.
“Through these expansion programs,” Pena explains, “we are able to bring voice and Internet services to more parts of the country. But we also need to make the network more resilient through programs such as placing our fiber cables underground.” – Rappler.com