Telco giant PLDT and its wireless unit Smart Communications, as well as pure fiber internet provider Converge ICT Solutions of bilyonaryo Dennis Anthony Uy have thrown their support behind President Bongbong Marcos’ calls for universal connectivity and digitalization to ensure availability and affordability of telco services across the country.
In separate statements issued Monday night, PLDT and Smart president Al S. Panlilio said they were heeding the government’s call to improve connectivity nationwide, which is seen to boost the country’s competitiveness and enable seamless access to government services.
“We support the government’s thrust to connect our countrymen and make sure that no Filipino is left behind as the world becomes more digital. Our continuous network investments are proof of this long-standing commitment to provide more Filipinos access to fast, reliable and affordable internet, enabling them to participate in the ever-growing digital economy, wherever they may be in the country,” Panlilio said.
“We are also prepared to assist in the government’s digitalization efforts, empowering its vision of an agile bureaucracy that is responsive to the needs of the public,” he added.
In his first State of the Nation Address, Marcos said he had directed the Department of Information and Communications Technology to deploy nationwide digital connectivity through the National Broadband Plan, the common tower program, and the ‘Broad Band ng Masa’ project, which will connect geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas (GIDAs) using a combination of submarine fiber optic cables, terrestrial networks and satellite technology.
Marcos cited the need to digitize archives and records as well as to harmonize data across agencies. He also pushed the passage of the E-Governance Act and Internet Transaction Act.
Uy, for his part, said he was backing the government’s move to “prioritize universal connectivity, particularly at this time when digitalization is at the heart of everything that we do.”
Connecting the unserved and underserved communities has been the mission of Converge since its inception. It has in fact accelerated by two years its target of covering 55 percent of Philippine households with fiber connectivity.
Converge has also been leveraging complementary technology in pursuit of this mission. Last year, it partnered with a foreign satellite company to provide satellite broadband connection to over 2,000 public schools.
“We have ensured that we have the correct infrastructure in place and built our own domestic backbone and network so that world-class, resilient, and high-speed pure fiber connectivity is ready for service to Filipinos nationwide. With this digital infrastructure, we are more than ready to assist the government in the efforts to achieve universal connectivity,” said Uy.