Despite pandemic conditions, PLDT has relentlessly expanded its fiber optic network, reaching 429,000 kilometers as of December 2020, enabling Filipinos to stay connected in the new normal.
The most extensive and advanced digital transport network in the Philippines helps everyone work from home, study online and stream content seamlessly. PLDT’s fiber infrastructure also supports its mobile subsidiary Smart’s network, providing high-capacity links for base stations, allowing faster transmission of data.
But while fiber optic technology is the solution that delivers the fastest and most reliable connectivity, this type of infrastructure is also the most vulnerable to external factors and events that are beyond the control of service providers like PLDT.
This is because while fiber itself is resistant to human or electrical interference, fiber optic cables can be physically cut and damaged, which leads to disrupted service.
To help mitigate the impact of a physically cut or damaged fiber optic cable, PLDT has a resilience and redundancy program for a large part of its fiber infrastructure, which provides multiple cable routes that allow the network to reroute and redirect affected data traffic.
This helps ensure continuous operations and connectivity amid fiber cuts or maintenance activities. But even with redundancy in place, accidental physical cuts to PLDT’s fiber network have still been found to cause service disruption.
“We have noted that the bulk of service disruptions is caused by man-made incidents accidentally damaging our fiber cables, including road excavation, drainage projects, bridge construction, diggings, and related works,” according to Debbie Hu, FVP for Network Operations under the Technology Group of PLDT-Smart.
“These incidents have caused significant service interruptions, outage, slow down and/or intermittent service to our affected subscribers,” Hu added.