PLDT rolls out fiber optic network in Bohol
Tagbilaran, Bohol—The Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) invested P700 million to roll out the Domestic Fiber Optic Network (DFON), which it inaugurated during the 160th Bohol Day celebration yesterday.
The project will be implemented over the next two to three years and stimulate the province’s budding information technology and business process outsourcing industry.
Bohol Gov. Edgardo Chatto said the project symbolizes “the openness” of Bohol’s investment climate and will bring in more livelihood and economic activities.
A total of 328 kilometers of inland and submarine fiber optic cables will run from Cebu through Bohol to Cagayan de Oro.
Napoleon L. Nazareno, PLDT and Smart Communications president and chief executive officer, said they hope to accelerate Bohol’s recovery following the 7.2-magnitude earthquake that hit the province in October last year.
Next wave city
Regional Director Asteria Caberte of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said the project will help provide more jobs to Boholanos.
“We already have inquiries. At least five companies want to set up here. It’s a chicken and egg situation. This will jumpstart the ICT and BPO industry here as well as benefit tourism,” she said.
“After Cebu, Bohol is considered one of the areas for expansion,” said Arvin Siena, PLDT assistant vice president for network planning and engineering group. Siena said they initially set up the transmission capacity of Bohol DFON at 40 Gbps or gigabytes per second which is equivalent to 160,000 call center seats, 41 million POS (point of sales) transactions and 5.1 million ATM transactions.
In 2012, Tagbilaran was identified as one of the “Next Wave Cities” for the ICT/BPO industry by the Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP).
The project has four phases.
“We have identified priority areas like Panglao where the international airport will soon operate as well as an industrial zone. We plan to cover the whole of Bohol,” Siena said.
Nazareno said PLDT will offer fiber optic capacity to households and businesses and expand fourth-generation LTE networks for mobile and fixed wireless Internet services.
Nazareno said they will also bring mobile broadband on 3G/HSPA to all towns in Bohol.
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