MVP urges gov’t to settle standards on decent internet quality
Telco giant PLDT Inc. appealed to the government to judge its performance by established standards on internet speed and coverage after it found itself on the receiving end of attacks by President Duterte during his penultimate State of the Nation Address last month.
During a briefing with reporters on its first semester financial results on Thursday, PLDT chair and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan (MVP) gave assurances service quality will improve.
Last July 27, Duterte threatened to close down PLDT and Globe Telecom by the end of the year and seize their assets over lousy service quality, which he did not define.
“We would like to agree with regulators as to what standards we will be judged,” Pangilinan said.
He noted these included internet speed, coverage, video experience and lag time—areas he said have improved after massive spending on its mobile and fixed-line networks.
“That is how we are measured. That is how other countries are measured as well,” Pangilinan said.
He cited a crowdsourced survey showing PLDT with the fastest mobile and fixed internet speed in the country. 4G population coverage is expected to move up from the current 95 percent, he said.
Upgrades here are essential given growing demand for its services. This also allowed PLDT to weather the early stages of recession due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the first half of the year, it said telco core income rose 5 percent to P13.9 billion as service revenue grew 8 percent to P82.9 billion.
Data and broadband accounted for 71 percent of service revenue, reflecting the shift to digital services that accelerated due to the health crisis.
The gains came despite a reduction in capital spending for the year to just P70 billion.
This was a smaller cut than expected but lower than the original budget of P83 billion.
The company said earnings were lifted by its core wireless, home broadband and enterprise segments.
Its consumer wireless group posted a 16-percent rise in revenue to P39.8 billion as mobile data traffic doubled year-on-year. PLDT cited higher demand for video, social media and mobile gaming.
Home broadband revenue rose 7 percent to P19.6 billion.
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