PLDT, INC. on Thursday said it will spend P11 billion in the next two years to upgrade its fiber optic network.

In statement, the telecommunications company said it will upgrade the connection of around 1.3 million subscribers of its fixed line home broadband service by rolling out over one million ports nationwide. This means DSL customers will be upgraded to fiber-fast connectivity.

“We have roughly 1.2, 1.3 million who are on our copper DSL. The program is to [upgrade into fiber] the subscribers in the next two years,” PLDT First Vice-President and Head of Home Business Marco Alejandro T. Borlongan said on the sidelines of the PLDT and Smart Consumer Group event on Wednesday.

This year, PLDT Home has been rolling out fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network nationwide, in a bid to deliver faster Internet speeds to its subscribers.

“In the past four years, all our new rollouts are already fiber,” Mr. Borlongan said.

PLDT is targeting to expand its FTTH coverage to about four million homes passed by the end of 2017. It recently completed its P1-billion fiber optic network expansion project in Mindanao, as well as rollouts of fiber connections in the residential and commercial areas of the Rockwell Center in Makati and Bonifacio Global City in Taguig.

“Our vision is to make high-speed internet connectivity the standard of every Filipino whether they are at home or on the go. With reliable and fast connectivity, PLDT is fully committed to revolutionize the way Filipinos experience and enjoy world-class digital services and content on their various screens – the television, personal computers, tablets, and mobile phones,” PLDT and Smart Executive Vice-President and Chief Revenue Officer Eric R. Alberto was quoted as saying in a statement.

At the same time, PLDT’s wireless unit Smart Communications said it has completed its LTE rollout in Metro Cebu and Metro Davao, Boracay, and in Rizal province. The LTE rollout is on going in Metro Manila.

“By end-2018, over 90% of the country’s population will have Smart LTE coverage. We are complementing this LTE rollout with our deployment of ultra-fast Smart Wi-Fi, which registers over 100Mbps download and upload speed, and is now available at key airports, other transport hubs, popular food parks, bars and restaurants as part of our SMART Spots Program all over the country,” PLDT and Smart First Vice-President and Head of Consumer Business for Market Development Oscar A. Reyes, Jr. was quoted as saying in a statement.

For this year, PLDT set aside P38 billion for capital expenditures, mainly for network modernization and expansion program.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. – PPCM