PLDT upgrading all old copper phone wires to fiber

A modernizing PLDT Inc. will upgrade all customers still using its old, ordinary, copper telephone wires to fiber in the next 18 months, boosting internet speeds for free.

"We will grow our business by helping our customers – and the country – rebuild their lives and livelihoods with powerful connectivity like fiber, 4G and now 5G," PLDT Chairman, President and CEO Manuel Pangilinan yesterday announced.

At first, "Our task was  to keep people connected as the country went into lockdown," he acknowledged. 

Now, the game has changed.

"This modernization program will boost the internet service of both PLDT Home and Enterprise customers to fiber speeds, at no added cost," PLDT Chief Revenue Officer and Smart Communications President Al Panlilio reiterated.

In the months following the lockdown in March, PLDT's network operations made adjustments in its work processes and gradually scaled up its ability to build and repair.

PLDT covered some 7.8 million homes passed by in the first half of 2020, up 8% from end-2019. 

The total number of available fiber-powered ports increased 5% to 3.67 million, with 1.6 million available for new customers.

The total footprint of PLDT’s fiber optic network has now reached 360,000 kilometers – the country’s most extensive digital data infrastructure.

PLDT’s commitment to improve internet services has been consistent and continuing. 

It has increased its capital expenditures (capex) to P70 billion for 2020 on top of the P260 billion total capex spent from 2015 to 2019. 

The upswing in capex was particularly marked in the last two years, when PLDT ploughed 38% of its revenues in 2018, and 45% of revenues in 2019, back into capex – a demonstration of its commitment to improve its services.