THE PLDT group expects to exceed its budget of P85 billion for the year to keep its projects, including the hyperscale data center in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, on track.

“We’ll be higher than P85 billion,” PLDT, Inc. Chief Executive Officer and President Alfredo S. Panlilio told reporters last week. “There are some projects that we are fast-tracking, the hyperscale data center for example, because some of the equipment that normally take a shorter lead time now take longer because of supply chain issues, so you might have to pull that forward,” he noted.

“There are projects like these that we’re looking at to make sure that we don’t get delayed in the future,” he added.

The company has said that it will be spending up to P13 billion for its 11th and largest VITRO hyperscale data center facility.

The project, which is expected to be completed by 2024, is being carried out by the group’s information and communications technology arm ePLDT.

The project will be the “first of a series of hyperscale data centers totaling to a power requirement of 100 megawatts over the medium term,” PLDT said.

According to Mr. Panlilio, the group’s data centers are being expanded to accommodate the growing demand and ensure that “we are able to keep up and deliver future requirements.”

On Friday last week, the group announced that it had successfully completed the landing of the shore-end segment of the Asia Direct Cable system (ADC) project at its western cable landing station in Nasugbu, Batangas.

The project, once completed, is expected to boost the group’s international capacity by up to 36 terabits per second (Tbps), bringing it to nearly 100 Tbps by end-2023.

“Commencing in the Philippines, the second stage of the marine installation will continue to further link six other international cable landing points in Asia including Tuas, Singapore; Chung Hom Kok, Hong Kong; Quy Nhon, Vietnam; Sri Racha, Thailand; and Shantou, China. The marine installation of the trunk segment to Maruyama, Japan was completed during the first stage of the marine works,” PLDT said in a statement.

ADC is a global consortium comprised of PLDT, China Telecom, China Unicom, National Telecom, Singtel, SoftBank Corp., Tata Communications, and the Viettel Group.

“Once ADC is completed and put in service by end-2023, PLDT’s Batangas cable landing station will host a total of three international subsea cable systems. It currently hosts SEA-ME-WE3 cable that goes to South Asia, the Middle East and Western Europe, as well as the regional Asia Pacific Cable Network Number 2,” the group said.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a majority stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Arjay L. Balinbin