Fiber To The Home: PLDT ups ante for broadband
The Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) will launch later this year the most advanced broadband delivery platform called Fiber To The Home, or FTTH, to deliver high-speed data services to residences and buildings.
FTTH uses fiber optic technology which transmits data via light signals sent through hair-thin strands of pure glass. Instead of the usual copper going to the homes of customers, thin fiber optic cables will be used. The new platform will be able to deliver simultaneously voice, video and data services at much higher speeds and larger capacities than DSL or cable technologies.
“Fiber to the home is a quantum leap forward in terms of broadband services. This demonstrates PLDT’s commitment to offer its customers cutting edge communication technologies,” said Napoleon L. Nazareno, PLDT President and Chief Executive Officer.
Initial tests done by PLDT have shown the capabilities of FTTH. At a demonstration facility at the PLDT’s head office, an FTTH-enabled computer posted download speeds of up to 94.86 megabits per second (mbps) and upload rates of 69.39 mbps, according to PLDT Network head Rolando G. Peña.
At those speeds, it would take only one second to download a 5Mb mp3 file, 3 seconds for a 35Mb video clip and only one minute to download an 800Mb movie.
“Depending on how we’ll design the product, we can provide gigabit speeds to homes, not just megabit speeds,” he said.
PLDT Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan tested the new technology by watching the recent Manny Pacquiao-Ricky Hatton fight via live video streaming using FTTH.
“Excellent reception. Excellent definition of the pictures,” said Pangilinan, who also chairs the Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines (ABAP).
The new service will be initially marketed to high-bandwidth residential customers such as households in high-income subdivisions and condominiums.
Pilot areas for FTTH will include areas such as Bonifacio Global City, Forbes Park, Urdaneta Village, Ayala Alabang, Dasmariñas Village, Wack Wack, Ayala Heights, Valle Verde and certain areas covered by PLDT Subictel and PLDT Clarktel.
“We’re targeting 1,000 customers this year and expand to 10,000 later on,” said Virgilio Ofina, Senior Manager of GMM NGN Access Provisioning and Transport Engineering Division.
The use of FTTH will simplify the delivery of various services. For instance, a customer can avail of telephone, video, audio, television and just about any other kind of digital data service through a single FTTH connection.
He explained that there is virtually no degradation of signals with FTTH and that it’s future-proof because the new technologies currently being developed now are based on fiber optic technology.
Services such as 3D holographic high-definition television and video games can be delivered via fiber to the home.
“FTTH represents a new level of services for our fixed line business. If we could build this extensively in all the major cities and municipalities, FTTH will redefine and reshape our fixed line business,” Pangilinan said.