PLDT  STEPS  UP  FACILITY  IMPROVEMENTS  IN  CEBU

MANILA, JANUARY 15, 2007
(STAR) By Ehda M. Dagooc The Freeman - The holding of the ASEAN Summit in Cebu has pushed telecommunication giant Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) to accelerate its facility update expenditure in Cebu.

"Telecommunication capabilities in Cebu have gone one-notch higher because of the ASEAN Summit," said PLDT head for public affairs Ramon Isberto in an interview during the weekend.

Isberto said PLDT has shortened its rollout time to deploy high-grade telecommunication facilities in Cebu such as the New Generation Network (NGN), initially to the major hotels and resorts here.

This means that instead of installing this kind of facility in the next few months, PLDT has decided to install the telecommunication technology infrastructure earlier before the Summit period.

In Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino for instance, PLDT has installed high capability telecommunication facilities, making almost all areas in the hotel as WiFi (Wireless Fidelity) areas.

He said all floors in the hotel, and the over 600 rooms are already WiFi areas. Other major hotels have also the same capabilities.

PLDT has allocated at least P30 billion in the next two to three years for the deployment of its new generation network (NGN) that will allow a robust growth of fixed line business.

The Cebu share for the expenditure has already been rolled early as scheduled because of the ASEAN Summit, Isberto said.

Supposedly, the Cebu NGN deployment will be spread in the next 12 months this year, but because of the Summit the roll out has been accelerated.

The NGN technology in telecommunication, offers the high-speed telecommunication providing fixed line telephones with broadband capabilities.

Despite the Internet connection glitch brought about by the recent Taiwan earthquake which damaged significant part of the international network connection of the Philippines, Isberto said PLDT managed to provide uninterrupted and high-speed Internet connection to the ASEAN Summit delegates.

The company installed booths in different areas like the airport, Cebu International Convention Center, Shangri-La's Mactan Island Resort, to provide delegates, especially the press community with free Internet access.

PLDT has maximized its fixed line and wireless Internet connection facility to service part of the ASEAN Summit online connectivity requirement.

Isberto, however, is not certain how much PLDT was spent for the installation of additional telecommunication facilities for Cebu as part of P30 billion, NGN deployment expenditure.

He said Cebu now is ahead over other areas in the Philippines, in terms of telecommunication facility.

PLDT's P30 billion capital expenditure in the next two to three years will provide wireless access and broadband infrastructure to 99 percent of the entire Philippines.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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