Globe Appeals to DPWH, Contractors: Don't Damage Our Fiber
Numerous fiber cuts caused by road works continue to interrupt internet services, prompting Globe to reiterate its appeal to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and its contractors to exercise diligence when working on road construction projects.
“Multiple times, we find people from construction companies assigned by the DPWH who will use a backhoe wantonly and dig up our fiber. As we aim to serve our customers better, we must take steps to avoid this as much as possible. So once again, I reiterate our appeal to the DPWH and its contractors to act responsibly and recognize this recurring issue,” said Ernest Cu, Globe President and CEO.
When a single fiber optic cable is hit by excavators, this causes region-wide disruption of internet services that could affect hundreds of thousands of households and businesses. Repairing these crucial lines is also shouldered by the telcos.
Even barring major network disruptions, such incidents cause poor quality of service delivery to consumers at the very least and additional repair costs to the telcos such as Smart, Globe, Dito, and PLDT.
Numerous Fiber Cables Hit in First Half of 2021
According to Cu, construction or backhoe-induced fiber cuts happen very often. This recurring issue has been raised by Globe to the DPWH several times, but the problem still persists. In the first half of 2021, Globe experienced multiple incidents of fiber cuts caused by construction companies across the country, not just in Metro Manila.
While the impact has been contained due to network resiliency and protection routes in place, Cu said the situation must still be addressed as soon as possible.
“We've been lobbying the government for some support in terms of getting these construction companies to be a bit more diligent in looking at build plans, given the fact that the internet is so important these days and any outage is found to attract a lot of attention from the public given their dependence on connectivity,” Cu pointed out.
Criminal Cases Could be Filed
Similar incidents in previous years have led to major network disruptions that have affected call, text, and internet services, forcing Globe to file criminal and civil cases against the contractors.
Fiber cuts adversely impact the company’s operations and could also potentially affect the delivery of government services, including emergency response. Globe provides access to both 911 and 8888, the government’s emergency and complaint hotline, respectively.