PLDT restores 86% of its fixed line services and Smart restores 99% in Visayas, fast tracks last mile in Mandaue, Mactan, Bohol

Despite the continued absence of commercial power in some locations and re-work due to clearing operations as well as incidents of cable theft, PLDT Inc. and its wireless unit Smart Communications Inc. have restored services by up to 99% for wireless customers and 86% for fixed customers in the Visayas, following the onslaught of Super Typhoon Odette.

Ninety-nine percent of Smart’s wireless network has been restored, enabling call, text and mobile internet services.  Full restoration is expected in early March.  PLDT’s fixed network meanwhile is on catch up mode as extensive fiber cuts in areas such as Mactan and Mandaue have hobbled restoration work. Teams are also replacing the remaining copper connections with fiber optic cables. Some parts of Cebu and Bohol still face commercial power difficulties, accidental cuts due to ongoing clearing operations and fiber optic cable theft in Cebu, pushing back full restoration by March to mid-April.

“In the meantime, we’re providing customers using Smart’s prepaid WiFi devices with free initial load of 10 GB.  For those without Smart devices, we’re topping up data load of 20 GB, with 30 days validity, ensuring they stay connected all throughout. We have deployed supplemental manpower from teams in Luzon and other parts of the country to fully restore fixed services,” says Cathy Yang, FVP & Group Head, Corporate Communications, PLDT & Smart. “We assure corresponding rebates will be applied to the bills of affected customers, and there will be no disconnection of accounts due to non-payment.”

PLDT and Smart’s around a thousand organic network personnel and non-organic personnel from partner-suppliers and contractors deployed in Odette-hit areas have been working round-the-clock to expedite full restoration before the first week of March in Samar, Leyte, Negros Island and some parts of Cebu, and by mid-April for Mactan, Mandaue and Bohol.

PLDT and Smart continue to extend communications aid where needed, setting up free calling, charging, and WiFi stations to over 50 areas in Visayas and Mindanao.  Additional assistance is also being extended to affected customers via service rebates and relief packs.

These initiatives underscore PLDT and Smart’s thrust to create a #SafeandSmart Philippines by championing initiatives that promote a culture of preparedness, provide immediate response through network resilience, continuous availability of communication services, and relief assistance to communities affected by disasters, and aid in recovery.

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