MANILA, Philippines, August 12, 2014 – After several powerful storms caused extensive damage to communications facilities over the past year, leading telecoms company PLDT has stepped up efforts to make its network more resilient by putting its fiber optic data transmission network underground.
PLDT is currently completing the below ground installation of the fiber optic link between linking Ilocos Norte to Tuguegarao in Cagayan Valley before the end of the year.
This new fiber link will provide another loop in PLDT’s domestic fiber optic network (DFON) and will thus improve the network’s resiliency by adding an alternative route for communications traffic.
“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,” said Rolando G. Pena, PLDT Group Technology Head.
Putting fiber optic cables underground eliminate the risk of fiber cuts due to fallen telephone posts caused by strong winds.
Pena explained that the PLDT DFON can be likened to a highway system where national roads connect provinces and provincial roads link up the towns and cities within each province.
“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.
“Our provincial distribution network – which is like the system of provincial roads – is about 50% underground. We hope to make that 100% underground by mid-2015,” he added.
“We see this as a necessary investment given how the country has been affected by recent typhoons. Network resilience must start by protecting our core facilities and then putting our transport system underground,” said PLDT President and CEO Napoleon Nazareno.
“We are thankful for the cooperation extended to us by local governments which have facilitated the grant of the necessary permits. These LGUs realize that this project serves the interests of their constituents because this will make communications in their area more resilient,” he added.
PLDT’s DFON currently runs through over 88,000 kilometers of on-land and undersea fiber optic cables, and connects the Philippine archipelago through several cable landing stations strategically located in the country. It has a total capacity of 5.15 Tbps.
PLDT’s DFON consists of six major loops and four sub-tending loops with several third legs within the loops for greater resiliency.
Last month, the telco completed a new third leg between the Visayas and Mindanao regions running through the island of Bohol. It has also launched a new fiber link to the Palawan island group.
“Through these expansion programs, 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,” Pena said.