The ongoing word war over network problems between the country’s largest telcos is set to heat up, as Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) has accused Globe Telecom of illegally attaching fiber-optic cables to PLDT poles in northern Luzon.
In a statement during the weekend, PLDT said multiple notices had been sent to Globe Telecom of the Ayala group regarding the latter’s alleged illegal use of PLDT facilities to expand its own network.
“Despite repeated notices since December last year, Globe’s contractors continued to install (fiber-optic cable) FOC equipment on facilities of PLDT and Smart Communications without our knowledge and consent,” PLDT Public Affairs head Ramon Isberto said.
“We have been compelled to act because these may affect the operations of our own facilities,” he added.
Globe contractors have been installing FOC equipment at PLDT’s telephone poles in La Union, Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte, Isberto said.
Globe was given until Jan. 25 to remove the unauthorized installations, he said.
“If no action is taken by Globe contractors, PLDT will be (forced) to remove the illegal connections and charge Globe for the cost of the removal and other damages that may be incurred by our facilities in the process,” Isberto pointed out.
PLDT and Smart personnel have found Globe FOC facilities attached to PLDT or Smart poles and lines in various points such as Sudipen and Bangar, La Union, and in Tagudin, Ilocos Sur.
“It is unfortunate that the services of PLDT, Smart and Globe may be affected due to the apparent disregard of Globe’s contractors of standard legal and safety procedures,” Isberto said.
“We simply cannot allow this infringement into our facilities that could put our own network at risk and disrupt services to our subscribers,” he added.
In a statement, Globe spokesperson Yoly Crisanto admitted that illegal pole attachment for network rollouts was an ongoing concern for both Globe and PLDT.
“There have been occasions when Globe has raised the same issue with PLDT contractors doing this illegal act. For its part, Globe has not been remiss in exercising due diligence in choosing its rollout partners,” she said.
“It is also our policy to immediately correct a dispute and penalize the erring contractor. We call for closer coordination and exchange of information between Globe and PLDT to avoid these incidents in the future,” Crisanto added.
Last week, Globe accused PLDT unit Digital Telecommunications Philippines (Digitel), operator of the Sun Cellular brand, of using outdated equipment, leading to problems in the delivery of short messaging service (SMS) or text messages among the subscribers of both companies.
The PLDT group hit back, saying the text delivery issues were likely caused by problems in the current network modernization being undertaken by Globe.
The NTC has launched an investigation to look into the network issues, which have affected thousands of subscribers of both companies.—Paolo G. Montecillo