ten Optical Line Terminals distributed within Metro Manila which are now ready to provide broadband connections for SMEs and residential customers.”
Aside from ramping up its fiber rollout, Radius also starts offering RED Fiber, a bundle of the company’s broadband services and Cignal TV’s cable content package. Mr. Delgado considers this solution as its response to the government’s call for better Internet connectivity.
In spite of a perceived lagging performance of Internet connections in the country, Radius Chief Operating Officer Jenevi L. Dela Paz recognized that there are marked improvements in the last five years. What lies ahead for providers like theirs, nonetheless, is to continue rolling out its services in emerging cities and the countryside.
“While the wireless option is a quick fix, there is still a need to make available reliable fiber connection to every Filipino home due to its stability and higher bandwidth capacity,” Mr. Dela Paz shared in the same e-mail.
ADDRESSING PERSISTING CONCERNS
Mr. Delgado observed that the national government’s concern on Internet connectivity in the past months caused a huge improvement among stakeholders, with different local government units rising to the President’s call.
The CEO stressed that this momentum should be continued by succeeding administrations. He also recommends that the government consider investing in a national fiber backbone network that will interconnect Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
“This move will allow a new player like us to compete head-on with the big boys and eventually encourage more ISPs to put up shop in the process. This would mean lower capex for new providers and faster rollout of Internet services to more Filipino homes in the countryside,” Mr. Delgado said.
Aside from low speeds and affordability, the digital divide remains an issue to be addressed as connectivity gets improved.
Mr. Delgado recognized that this pronounced divide, which proves that Internet access is no longer a luxury but a basic utility, must be collaboratively addressed.
“In these trying times, the private sector and government should work together to close the gap and lower the cost to gain access,” he said. “More than the affordable connection, the cost of the gadgets and tech refresher for the teachers and parents should also be given attention and priority.”
As telcos exert effort in improving connectivity in the country, one can only hope for fewer interrupted connections to happen more sooner.
Nonetheless, the Radius CEO sees hope in the availability of fiber facilities becoming mandatory for up-and-coming business districts and residential developments.
“If this becomes a reality, new homeowners and locators can easily request reliable Internet connections which can be installed and activated more quickly than before,” Mr. Delgado said.