GLOBE Telecom, Inc. and its partners have commissioned a Japanese company to finish by April the last leg of a submarine cable network that will bring fiber connectivity to remote areas of the country.

In a press release on Wednesday, Globe said Japan-based NTT World Engineering Marine Corp. or NTT WE Marine is set to land and lay cables in the nine remaining segments of the $150-million Philippine Domestic Submarine Cable Network (PDSCN).

“With the final phase of the PDSCN in motion, we are excited to take a major step towards our goal of nation-building through digitalization,” Globe President and Chief Executive Officer Ernest L. Cu said.

“This is a crucial step towards bridging the digital divide and providing equitable and reliable connectivity, which is essential for the economic and social development of our country,” he added.

The project, which covers a total cable distance of 2,500 kilometers, started in July 2022. The last leg will be done through cable ship Subaru, one of NTT WE Marine’s cable-laying vessels.

The PDSCN, through its continuous cable landings, will cover Calatrava, Romblon; Pasacao, Camarines Sur; Bulan, Sorsogon; Calbayog City, Samar; Palanas, Masbate; Mactan, Cebu; Maasin City, Southern Leyte; Claver, Surigao del Norte; Kinoguitan, Misamis Oriental; Camiguin; Dipolog, Zamboanga del Norte; Liloy, Zamboanga del Norte; and Zamboanga City, Zamboanga del Sur.

Globe said that it has been “aggressive in expanding its network to meet the growing demand for connectivity amid increased digitalization.”

NTT WE Marine has a local branch and offices in Nagasaki and Yokohama, Japan.

In a separate press release, Globe said that it will be rolling out 30 booths to assist in the registration of subscriber identity module (SIM) cards from Feb. 1 to 3.

The company aims to open registration assistance booths in far-flung towns from northern to southern provinces to reach as many customers as possible before the April 26 deadline.

The SIM registration booths will be open to all and are put in place to help senior citizens, persons with disability, and those using basic phones without internet access.

The rollout is part of the National Telecommunications Commission’s initiative, which followed the first round in January, where the company deployed booths in 15 areas from Jan. 25 to 27.

By the end of January, Globe said it logged over 11 million registered prepaid SIMs.

“Globe is again urging its customers to plan and schedule their registration, as failure to do so within deadline will lead to SIM deactivation,” the company added. — Justine Irish D. Tabile