Converge Information and Communications Technology Solutions Inc. said Thursday it expects to complete the deployment of submarine cables linking the islands in the Visayas and Mindanao in the first half.
“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. Our mission is to reach and connect underserved and unserved areas all over the country,” Converge chief executive and co-founder Dennis Anthony Uy said.
“Now, we are one step closer to fulfilling this mission as we connect the VisMin areas through our fiber backbone,” he said.
Converge chief operating officer Jesus Romero said the company’s expansion to the Visayas and Mindanao was progressing as planned.
“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,” he said.
The Visayas-Mindanao expansion involves 1,800 kilometers of submarine cables, connecting over 20 landing stations throughout the country.
Romero said the cable stations were substantially completed and were now awaiting the vessel that would execute the submarine cable-laying operations.
These submarine sea cables are the same fiber optic cables found on land-based stations but would be laid on the seabed to bridge the geographical challenges.
Converge started pilot testing in Cebu, with promising take-up. The expansion aims to cover other areas including Davao, Iloilo, Negros Occidental, starting with Bacolod City and Cagayan de Oro.
Converge said it continuously improved the quality of end-to-end fiber services in Luzon which covers existing coverage areas. The company invested in hardening the network to increase redundancy and network quality.
Converge completed and activated 55,000 fiber route kilometers as of end-2020 to expand the domestic backbone and distribution network.
Converge reached an additional 149 cities and municipalities by the end of 2020, covering more areas in Rizal, La Union, San Juan, Pangasinan and Nueva Ecija 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. The completion of the company’s national backbone will steadily increase residential subscribers and enterprise segments,” Uy said. With Jess Malabanan