Converge ICT to Finish Vis-Min Submarine Cable Backbone by 2021
By Ted Cordero, GMA News
July 4, 2019
Broadband company Converge ICT Solutions Inc. is eyeing to finish the construction of a submarine fiber optic cable backbone in the Visayas and Mindanao by 2021 as part of the initiative to expand its fixed broadband service across the country.
Converge ICT COO Jesus Romero said laying out a Vis-Min fiber optic submarine cable backbone forms part of the company’s $1.8-billion nationwide rollout of fiber internet connectivity in the next five years.
“The Vis-Min [backbone] will not happen in the next 24 months, kasi it takes about 24 months to build. We’ll start that hopefully soon … I think by 2021,” Romero told reporters in Pasig City on Thursday.
The company is now in the process of evaluating the “best and final offer” from three foreign companies that offered to build the submarine cable for the Vis-Min fiber optic backbone.
Romero said the target is to award the contract to the winning bidder within 2019. He declined to name the companies, citing a non-disclosure agreement.
“After we chose, then we award. Then we start to mobilize,” he said.
The nationwide rollout has the potential to reach over 13 million of the 22 million households in the country, particularly those in major islands in the Visayas and Mindanao.
To finance the $1.8-billion, five-year expansion, Romero said the company is looking at a mix of internal cash, equity financing, and debt.