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Eastern Communications heightens network resiliency in Vis-Min

The PDSCN is the longest undersea fiber cable network in the Philippines and Eastern Communications aims to serve more customers by boosting its network resiliency in remote and disaster-prone areas.

Eastern Communications expanded its footprint in the rural areas of Visayas and Mindanao through its $150-million Philippine Domestic Submarine Cable Network (PDSCN), a joint undertaking with its partners, Globe and InfiniVAN, Inc. The PDSCN is the longest undersea fiber cable network in the Philippines and Eastern Communications aims to serve more customers by boosting its network resiliency in remote and disaster-prone areas.

Before leaving from Iloilo and Bacolod, the state-of-the-art Cable Infinity ship operated by Kokusai Cable Ship Co., had arrived at the municipality of Dapa, Siargao on September 22. To mark this milestone, Eastern Communications and its partners held a cable laying ceremony. The ship was welcomed by the three partner companies, Dapa Mayor Hon. Elizabeth Matugas, Vice Mayor Gerry M. Abejo, Councilor Arnoldo Bongvaros, Councilor Carlito Dones, Municipal Admin Lily Gonzales, Barangay Captain of Don Paulino Albino Tarife, Sangguniang Bayan members, and department heads of the local government.

Abejo foresees many opportunities for Siargao and the PDSCN project. In his speech he mentioned, “We all know how important infrastructure is in supporting the progress of Dapa and the entire Island of Siargao, which has nine municipalities. We are always looking forward [and we want to] provide more opportunities for our people to work. Maybe we can put up a BPO so that many people can be employed and we can employ thousands of residents who live here in our municipality, not only in our municipality, but everyone is here to join. So I’m sure the rest will follow. We are very thankful that you are helping to realize the project.”

With PDSCN, Eastern Communications and its partners hope to fortify network connectivity in Siargao after it recently opened its doors again to tourists following the damage wrought by Typhoon Odette. Earlier this year, the telco extended support to the victims of said calamity. The company believes in the importance of having high speed and reliable connectivity, especially for customers in Visayas and Mindanao area. With the country being part of the Pacific Ocean’s typhoon belt, these disaster-prone areas are more vulnerable to power outages and network issues from damaged cabling.

“With Cable Infinity landing and laying fiber cables, the surfing capital of the Philippines will soon surf the internet more smoothly, fortifying the connectivity needed for everyday activities. For us, Siargao is more than a popular tourist destination, it is a locale brimming with business potential and in the hands of its warm residents, it’s ripe for countless possibilities. As it is gradually recovering from challenges in the past, we hope to see it emerge economically along with the other developing islands, as we continue our thrust of improving network resiliency across the archipelago,” said Delfin Lopez, Eastern Communications’ Head of Network Planning, Engineering and Implementation Division.

Rene Martin Go, Globe Senior Director for Transport Engineering and Optimization mentioned his hopes for Siargao’s recovery and said, “We all saw how Super Typhoon Odette severely affected Siargao. We believe fiber connectivity will help the community recover faster.”

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Alberto Espedido, InfiniVAN, Inc. Chief Technology Officer on the other hand, highlighted the remote workforce who will benefit from the project, “Working remotely is elevated further because now people can even work from paradise. We all know Siargao is a hub for digital nomads from around the world. This particular PDSCN does not only connect the major islands of the country but also connects several tourist islands, including Siargao,” he said.

Moreover, the company is bringing to life its commitment to democratize technology across the country and to help businesses emerge stronger, paired with its “High Tech” and “High Touch” services—its two-pronged unique branding of cutting-edge solutions paired with excellent customer service. The PDSCN project will be deployed in Mactan, Cebu in October, and in other key islands such as Tagbilaran, Cagayan de Oro, Boracay, and Zamboanga, over the next months.

“We hope that this effort will enable digitalization across households and businesses, aid the local and national government sectors, strengthen disaster-preparedness tactics, advance economical operations, and ultimately bring positive outcomes and improve the lives of our Filipino people. We at Eastern Communications are delighted to share in this vision of addressing the connectivity concerns of underserved areas and islands in order to foster economic growth with all our partners,” Lopez added.

By commencing the cable laying project in Siargao, Eastern hopes to service more Filipinos and reinforce their access to connectivity which is essential during the advent of typhoon warnings and other natural calamities.

As part of its plan to reach more areas in Visayas and Mindanao, Eastern Communications will host the Thrive Summit at Savoy Hotel, Boracay on September 23. The summit will gather industry leaders to discuss Eastern’s best-in-class digital solutions responsive to the latest technological trends. Thrive will be open for registration to the public. To save a seat, register at tinyurl.com/ThriveSummitBoracay2022.

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