Converge backs infrastructure sharing to lower costs

Bilyonaryo Dennis Anthony Uy’s Converge ICT Solutions Inc. is supporting a proposal that allows telcos or internet service providers to share the cost of installation of underground pipes for telecommunication cables whenever new road infrastructure is built.

Converge chief operations officer Jesus C. Romero said such an option would mean cost savings for the ICT providers, and ensure that there won’t be multiple trench-diggings.

“This can be done in expressways linking parts of the metro together. Submarine cables are expensive. We could do with a lot more diversity and connectivity. This joint use of infrastructure will go a long way. As an ISP, we’re willing to pay for our share [of the cost],” he said.

In pursuing this policy, cooperation among the national government agencies such as the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), local government units (LGUs), and private sector operators is critical as the digital infrastructure deployment has to be aligned with public works plans.

“Our backbone nationwide, most of it is underground, but there are still places where we have aerial cables because of the old design of the houses. We should encourage regulators and lawmakers to come up with directions to push for underground cabling because we are a typhoon-ravaged country,” said Uy, Converge chief executive and co-founder.

“Another policy move that can be considered where underground cables are not feasible, is infrastructure sharing. This entails the shared use of open, neutral, and affordable facilities among telecom companies, which includes utility poles.

A common pole policy can further reduce the cost of network deployment, Uy said.

As of end-June this year, Converge had over 560,000 kilometers of fiber assets and a network that passes more than 13.5 million homes.

Its nationwide household coverage is now at 52 percent, on track of its target to reach 55 percent of all households by 2023.

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