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Philippine operator to offer powerline broadband

PLDT Company has unveiled plans to introduce broadband services delivered over powerlines in 2011, according to news reports.
Written by Melvin G. Calimag, Contributor

MANILA--The country's largest carrier Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT) Company, purportedly has plans to introduce broadband over powerline services next year, according to local news reports Thursday.

Trade broadsheets BusinessMirror and BusinessWorld quoted PLDT president Napoleon Nazareno to say the company has already begun testing the service in Malabon, a town north of Manila. The actual launch, however, will only take place next year, Nazareno said.

Broadband over powerline delivery became feasible after PLDT last year acquired a major stake in power distributor Manila Electric Company (Meralco).

PLDT was involved in a high-profile battle against blue-chip rival San Miguel Corp. (SMC) to assume control of Meralco. SMC had entered the local telecom market through a tie-up with Qatar Telecom, resulting in the formation of a joint venture firm Liberty Telecoms, which recently unveiled a WiMax broadband service.

According to the news reports, Nazareno said PLDT would utilize the power lines from Meralco to offer the first broadband powerline service in the Philippines.

PLDT already controls the biggest share of the local broadband market through its MyDSL brand. Its mobile subsidiary, Smart Communications, also offers Internet broadband services via SmartBro.

BusinessMirror said a team comprising members from PLDT and Meralco has been established to "collaborate and implement synergies between the country's largest phone firm and the power distributor".

According to the reports, the powerline broadband initiative could serve areas "currently not reached by PLDT facilities or in areas where these facilities are already exhausted".

Melvin G. Calimag is a freelance IT writer based in the Philippines.

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