NTC warns telecom operators and internet providers to prepare for December surge in online traffic

The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has issued a directive to public telecommunications entities and Internet service providers to prepare for increased Internet traffic during the holidays.

NTC commissioner Gamaliel A. Cordoba said in a memorandum dated December 17 that Internet traffic “is expected to increase dramatically” during the Christmas season.

“Despite the decrease in (coronavirus) cases, the health ministry is encouraging Christmas parties to be held virtually due to the threat of the Omicron coronavirus,” he said.

From December 17 to January 7, he said, telecommunications operators and Internet service providers are expected to observe an “increased level of emergency preparedness.”

The aim is to “ensure minimum disruption and downtime by strictly adhering to prescribed service performance standards at all times”.

They have also been asked to speed up their maintenance efforts, increase internet or broadband capacity, and ensure that business continuity and disaster recovery protocols are in place and functioning 24 hours a day.

Large telecommunications companies are repairing damaged networks in areas affected by typhoons.

PLDT, Inc. and its wireless arm Smart Communications, Inc. said on Sunday that they were working to restore their communications services in Surigao.

“We assure our customers that we are working around the clock to resolve service issues and reconnect more areas that have been severely affected by (Typhoon) Odette,” they said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Globe Telecom, Inc. said it has extended a one-day unlimited texting offer across all of its networks to customers affected by the typhoon on December 18.

“Promotion includes unlimited calls to Globe and TM numbers only. Affected customers will also receive a free one-month subscription to KonsultaMD (a telehealth service provider) for their medical needs, ”Globe said in a statement.

On Friday, fiber optic internet provider Converge ICT Solutions, Inc. announced that it had temporarily closed its business centers in Mandaue City, Roxas City, Iloilo City and Cagayan de Oro City due to the typhoon.

“At 3:30 pm (Friday), our network operations were affected in the following areas: Iloilo, Capiz, Cebu, Cagayan De Oro and Davao,” he said.

“Rest assured, we are working to immediately restore service in these areas while ensuring the safety of our staff,” he added.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., a subsidiary of the PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund, has a controlling interest in Business world through the Philippine Star Group, which he controls. – Arjay L. Balinbin

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