Converge close to completing national fiber backbone

Published March 19, 2021, 9:41 AM

by Emmie V. Abadilla

High-speed fiber broadband provider Converge ICT Solutions Inc. is about to complete its national fiber backbone as it installs 1,800 kilometers of submarine sea cables connecting Visayas and Mindanao this month.

“We started Converge nine years ago with a dream to bring the world’s best broadband technology to majority of our people, and that is fiber optics,” according to Dennis Anthony Uy, Converge CEO and Co-Founder.

“Our mission is to reach and connect underserved and unserved areas all over the country. Now we are one step closer to fulfilling this mission as we connect the VisMin areas through our fiber backbone,” he noted.

So far, they are on schedule.

“By targeting to substantially complete our backbone by the first half of 2021, we hope to commercially launch by the second half of the year so that we can reach more provinces in need of world-class fixed broadband services,” confirmed Converge Chief Operating Officer Jesus Romero.

The cable stations have been substantially completed and are now awaiting the vessel that will execute the submarine cable-laying operations.

These submarine sea cables are the same fiber optic cables found on land-based stations but will be laid on the seabed to bridge the geographical challenges.

Already, Converge has started pilot testing in Cebu, with promising take up.

The expansion aims to cover other provinces including Davao, Iloilo, Negros Occidental, starting with Bacolod City and Cagayan de Oro.

Apart from the regional expansion, Converge is dedicated to improving the quality of their end-to-end fiber services in Luzon which covers existing coverage areas.

At the end of 2020, Converge has completed and activated approximately 55,000 fiber route kilometers to expand the domestic backbone and distribution network.

Due to aggressive network expansion, Converge was able to reach an additional 149 cities and municipalities by the end of 2020, covering more areas in Rizal, La Union, San Juan, Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija, and many more, and now reaching a total of 316 cities and municipalities.

“Only about 10 percent of the market has been covered by high-speed broadband fiber internet,” Uy maintained.

“The completion of the company’s national backbone will steadily increase residential subscribers and enterprise segments,” adds Uy.

Converge reached the one Million mark on residential subscribers last year and aims to reach 55 percent of household coverage by 2025.

Despite the pandemic, Converge invested aggressively, putting in P16 BIllion last year, and P20 Billion this 2021.

The bulk, 50 percent of the 2021 capex, will be for its access network, 30 percent will be for building its backbone and the 20 percent balance, for other IT expenses.