GLOBE TELECOM, INC. expects its home broadband subscriber base to continue growing in the second half as schools reopen and more people work from home amid a coronavirus pandemic.

Revenue from its home broadband business rose by almost a fifth from a year earlier to P12.5 billion in the six months through June, it said in a statement on Monday. Home broadband subscribers increased by 58% to 2.9 million, it added.

The Ayala-led telecommunication company said it expects its home broadband subscribers to “continue to grow as more households gear up for working and learning from home and more are expected to follow suit as public schools reopen in October.”

Globe said entertainment and online learning mobile data traffic soared by 45% to 1,106 petabytes during the period, as more people stayed home due to travel restrictions meant to contain a coronavirus pandemic.

“Data continues to be a bright spot for business, as demand remains strong and steadily growing,” Globe President and Chief Executive Officer Ernest L. Cu said in the statement.

“Especially at this time of the pandemic, internet access serves as a lifeline for many Filipinos. People use the internet to work from home, conduct business, make payments and homeschooling, among others. We expect this trend to continue until the rest of the year,” he added.

The potential of the home broadband segment remains a “source of inspiration” for the company, Mr. Cu said.

This segment is largely untapped so there are many households that are looking to be connected, he said. “We hope to fill this demand with our aggressive network rollout in the second half not only in urban areas but even in provinces all over the country.”

Globe’s net income fell by 7.8% in the second quarter to P4.9 billion from a year earlier after much of the country was locked down starting in mid-March.

The company’s service revenue in the second quarter fell by 3.6% to P35.54 billion from a year earlier.

Globe has cut its capital expenditure guidance for the year to P50.3 billion from P63 billion given delays in its network rollout during the lockdown. — Arjay L. Balinbin