MANILA – Smart Communications Inc on Monday said it has completed the installation of its fiber optic cable network linking Boracay to the rest of the world ahead of the summer season.
“We made sure that the new facility would be in place before the onset of the summer season. Boracay visitors can now really get away and yet easily stay in touch with high-speed broadband,” said Roland G. Pena, head of the technology group for Smart and its parent firm Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co (PLDT).
Smart’s new cable link stretches from the Tabon Jetty Port in Caticlan, Aklan to the Tambisaan Jetty Port in Boracay Island. Around 2.8 kilometers of fiber optic cables were installed in the cavity of a protective armor shell, and were then buried under the seabed at a depth of at least 1.3 meters.
The underwater cable link connects two different existing inland fiber optic cable loops – one on Boracay Island and the other on Caticlan mainland. Both of these inland loops were constructed during previous network modernization programs. The link-up will upgrade Smart’s inter-island interconnection and strengthen network resiliency.
“This means that even if there will be a cut in one part of the loop, services will not be interrupted since there is an alternate route in the network,” said Edgardo Lazaro, Smart senior manager for transport and facilities.
“We were able to complete our facilities quickly because we do a lot of preparatory work in advance. Pre-work includes network planning, site surveys, permits from local government units, compliance certificates and clearances,” Pena said.
“Forward planning enables us to implement network expansion that is environmentally safe and does not disrupt the services of our subscribers,” he added.
This latest cable expansion will support the growing capacity requirements for Smart’s Long Term Evolution (LTE) sites in Boracay and Caticlan.
The completion of the facility comes in time for the 2013 summer season and the Holy Week break when tourist visits to the 7 kilometer-long Boracay Island are at their peak, and the demand for wireless services also increases.
“Some vacationers want to be detached from voice and SMS during their leisure time but interestingly they want more and more data connectivity so that they can share their experiences with their family and friends via social media channels,” Pena said.
According to socialbakers.com, the Philippines is the world’s 8th biggest user of Facebook, with 93.13 percent of Filipino Internet users having a Facebook account.
PLDT has allocated P2.5 billion of its 2013 capital expenditure to expand its fiber optic cable network. InterAksyon.com is the online news portal of TV5, a member of the PLDT group.