Converge expanding to more areas in Mindanao
By Ralph Lawrence G. Llemit
FIBER broadband operator Converge ICT Solutions Inc. is targeting to expand its network in other parts of Davao Region and soon, in other parts of Mindanao.
Michael Maquiran, Converge regional general manager for the Visayas and Mindanao, said that while they are currently servicing Davao City, he said their company is already working on expanding its operations to Tagum City and Panabo City in Davao del Norte, and Digos City, Davao del Sur.
In addition, Maquiran said they are also working on expanding Converge’s operations in other key Mindanao cities like General Santos City and Koronadal City in Socsksargen.
“We will not isolate areas simply because of economic status because we want it to serve the unserved and underserved,” he said.
“In the case of Converge, wherever you see the fiber optic passing through, regardless whether the town is a second class, third class, fourth-class municipality, we will fiber-rize those town, we will give those kababayans of ours in mindanao, world class internet similar to how fast you get their internet in Singapore and Korea,” he added.
While Maquiran was not able to disclose the specific breakdown of investments for Davao Region, he said the network investments rolled out in the entire country are at P25 billion.
Out of the total, P6 billion were allocated for the investment on the submarine fiber optic backbone, while P19 billion for the terrestrial backbone.
“[This is] the part where we link the island from [one] end to another end,” the Converge official said.
Converge has completed a critical infrastructure in its domestic fiber backbone in Mindanao, improving fiber internet service availability for subscribers in southern Philippines.
The company recently finished its “Mindanao redundancy loop,” which runs through the region, further strengthening its 90,000-kilometer pure fiber backbone in the country. The newly-completed segment connects the cable landing point in Cagayan de Oro with Buenavista, completing a network ring that passes through key areas in Mindanao such as Tagum, Davao, and Valencia.
Converge is also building its own data center in Davao to enable local caching of internet content, further increasing network reliability and speed.
“As we continue to pursue our Go National strategy through 2022, we want to make sure that we have high service availability for our subscribers in Visayas and Mindanao. With the redundancy ring completed, we’re significantly reducing the chances of service outages since we now have an alternative network route in place,” Converge CEO Dennis Anthony Uy said.
The redundancy loop is a network structure that fortifies the primary route of the network by adding a secondary path for data to pass through in case of a failure in the main route. This makes sure there is no service downtime and subscribers’ connection remains unhampered.
“With this, we’re adding yet another layer of protection to our network which is important as we accommodate the growing demand in Visayas and Mindanao,” Uy added.
Since the start of its fiber broadband service in Mindanao just this April, Converge has laid down more than 100,000 lines in Davao and Cagayan de Oro, gaining traction in its subscriber base.
Converge made its official entry into Mindanao last April, with its subsea cables landing in Cagayan de Oro. Since April, it has been gradually strengthening and expanding the fiber backbone throughout the region.
As of the third quarter of the year, the nationwide fiber backbone of Converge spans 90,000 kilometers with the 1,800-kilometer subsea segment interconnecting the major islands of the Philippines. The company’s total residential subscriber base reached nearly 1.5 million as of end-September, with almost 5.5 million fiber ports installed across the country.
Converge aims to cover 55 percent of total Philippine households with world-class fiber connectivity by 2023 as part of its mission to reach the unserved and underserved areas in the country.