Philippine internet service provider Converge ICT Solutions, Inc. will “fire up” three key areas in the province of Palawan with the initial opening of more or less 14,000 connections by the first quarter of year 2023.

Converge, the newest ICT provider in the country, made the announcement during the Sulong Palawan business forum organized by the Palawan Business Club at the VJR Hall of the Provincial Capitol on Wednesday.

Michael Maquiran, Converge Regional General Manager for Visayas and Mindanao, said the towns of Coron and Taytay, and Puerto Princesa City will be the first to get connected to the network’s internet superhighway.

“First to fire up in January will be Coron because that is the first touchpoint of the submarine cable landing station that will fire up the island of Palawan, from Mindoro. Then Coron is linked to Taytay, which will fire up also in January, then Puerto Princesa will fire up in March with more than 6,000 lines initially. And we will not stop there because we will fiberize the rest of Palawan,” Maquiran said.

In an interview with Palawan News, he explained that the company is using state-of-the-art end-to-end pure fiber internet connectivity, which directly connects the country to the international gateway and “to the rest of the world all the way to your homes, your offices, [and] businesses.”

However, while Palawan is already connected to the rest of the country, he said that they are still working on their backbone, which will connect Coron to the main island via Taytay. It will extend all the way to Brooke’s Point from here, and will terminate in Bataraza.

“Converge is going to be present in Palawan very, very soon, and scheduled to be up and running, hopefully by… if, of course, the weather permits and some dependencies beyond our control, especially weather… the schedule will push through by the end of Q1, which is sometime in March,” he said.

He stated that the technology that Converge utilizes has the capability to connect one account to up to five smart TVs, 10 smartphones, and 5 to 10 laptops and desktop computers simultaneously in just one port.

The company’s most basic plan costs Php1,500 and provides a symmetrical connection with a download and upload speed of 200 megabits per second (mbps) and a reliability rate of 80 percent.

“Some ISPs (internet service providers) are banking on the fair user policy set by the government and it’s not symmetrical. In the case of Converge, we can afford to give you symmetrical connection because we’re using the 10 GPON (Gigabit Passive Optical Network) technology,” he said.

10 GPON is the most cutting-edge technology being used in advance countries like Korea, Singapore, Japan, and almost all major European countries, which is one of Converge’s key highlights, he said.

He also said that they use the Triple A platform system, which checks each subscriber’s connection to see if they are online or not. This entails determining whether or not there is a fiber break that requires their attention.

Fiber cuts are not limited to Palawan, he explained, but occur throughout the country. However, Converge is dedicated to ensuring a speedy reconnect in the event of a line cut.

“So Palawan can expect quality, affordability and very good aftersales, that whenever you will apply, we will try to connect you within 24 to 48 hours from the time of application. And when your connection is down, we will try to restore it also within 24 to 48 hours,” he added.

Converge’s 1,800-kilometer underwater cable to connect Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao to its national backbone made its final landing in Coron on October 31, 2021.

Its CEO and co-founder, Dennis Anthony Uy, said that the successful completion of the P6 billion domestic submarine cable project ensures a reliable cornerstone that will be able to manage large amounts of data traffic generated by the company’s million-plus subscribers.

The company professed that the subsea cables that link to Converge’s domestic backbone were laid out in such a way as to give the network redundancy. This would ensure that services would continue to be available even in the event that fiber breaks occurred.